Be ambitious? Yes! But don’t forget this one thing.

  • 1 Timothy 3:1-7 (NKJV) This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be…able to teach…

Today’s verse teaches a very important lesson about life.

First of all, let me relieve you of the burden of feeling guilty for having ambition.  Paul is speaking specifically about ministerial ambition but the principle applies across the board: there is nothing wrong with desiring any God-honoring profession.

If you and God are at peace with desiring a particular “good work”—go for it; don’t allow other people’s expectations or criticisms, nor your own fears and insecurities, to be a lid on what you could be for the glory of God and for the service of those Jesus died for.

Why settle with being a four or five talent servant of God when you could be so much more?

If you study closely Paul’s instructions (1 Timothy 3:1-7) you will notice there are three vital keys for succeeding in a “good work.”

First, he spends a lot of time talking about character.  In the end, your character makes or breaks you.  Your talent can take you further than you character in the short-term, but eventually, your character will either keep you there or bring you crashing down.

Second, Paul has a good bit to say about people skills.  No matter the “good work” you have ambitions for; you must factor people into the equation.  If you can’t get along with people, at least at some level, you will not get along very far in life.

But finally, Paul inserted a very vital key for succeeding at the “good work” you desire—you must actually be able to do the job.  Put another way: competency matters.

For example, I applaud you if you want to be a singer–go for it!  However, make sure of one thing; make sure you can actually sing.

“Kempizing” Paul’s words: There’s nothing wrong with desiring the high position of being a bishop in Jesus’ church—I applaud you.  However, let me give you a heads-up: to be effective at being a bishop, minimally, you must be able to teach.  You can have impeccable character, be a wonderful person that everybody likes, but if you can’t teach you’re not going to be able to succeed.

The take away from this is that in every position and profession there is a minimal skill(s) that you must possess or at least be able to learn and that you must be able to continually improve in if you hope to succeed. imagesCAL1U8P1

You can be great at many peripheral things but if you fail to master the essential skill(s) required you’re sunk.

  • That’s why so many marriages spit and sputter along in mediocrity
  • That’s why so many children grow up faithless and focused on the wrong things
  • That’s why so many careers get stuck in neutral—going no where
  • That’s why so many churches are drifting along having little or no impact

Good people, sincere people, and capable people desired a good work but failed to master and execute on the essential skills that came with the position.

The ONE THING for today is this: identify those one or two skills that are required to succeed in the positions you value most in your life and relentlessly and faithfully become a life-long learner in those areas and without compromise, execute on those skills daily.


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