To be a woman and ambitious elicits all kinds of conversation in the world today. So, call me a Christian feminist, in the best sense of the term. I believe that women deserve equal opportunity, equal pay for an equal job, and respect for the roles they fulfill in the workplace, business and church world, and home. I believe that men should be respected for the same things.
It's tricky enough.
Ambitious is defined at Dictionary.com as:
1) eagerly desirous of achieving or obtaining success,power, wealth, a specific goal, etc.
2) showing or caused by ambition or an earnest desire for achievement or distinction
3) strongly desirous; eager
4) requiring exceptional effort, ability, etc.
Hmmm. I don't really see anything to sinister there. Do you?
Why is it that #ambition and #womeninbiz STILL bring up visions of Sigourney Weaver in "Working Girl" instead of Melanie Griffith?
As I was doing research, I thought about how the words ambition and EXCELLENCE fit together. How about another Dictionary.com definition?
1) the fact or state of excelling; superiority; eminence
2) an excellent quality or feature
Crazy isn't it. They almost seem to say the same thing. Yet, who would ever ridicule a person, a woman, for daring to achieve excellence in her field?
However, the topic is AMBITIOUS WOMEN and SPIRITUALITY.
As a Christian, our primary goal is to live a life connected to the Source of Life. And in living that life, we want to bring glory to our God and Creator. To do so, our aim needs to be to use every gift, talent and skill to it's utmost. We show by our lives, the Supremacy of belonging to Jesus.
Colossians 3:23-24: NLT - "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ."
More simply put, we aim for excellence, i.e. we are ambitious, to bring honor to God for what He has done in us; not to receive the praise of men.
Parable of the Talents
The Bible book of Matthew, chapter 25 tells the story of the Three Servants, or The Talents.
Jesus says the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who went away on a long trip, but before going he left money to three of his servants. The amount was in proportion to their abilities. We can assume that the man wanted the servants to use or invest the money in some way, but it really doesn't say that.
The first man took the five bags of silver and invested them, with a return of five more bags - double.
The second man, did the same with his two bags of silver - doubled the investment.
The third man dug a hole in the ground and buried the money.
When the man returned, he called all the men to him and asked them for an account. He praised the first two men for their wisdom, and rewarded them with more responsibilities, more honor and celebration.
Who Is To Blame?
The third man brought back only what he had been given and used the excuse that the master was at fault, because he was a harsh and cruel man. The servant said he was afraid if he lost the money he would be punished. Of course, the wealthy man wasn't any too happy, and told the servant that at the very least he should have put it in the bank in order to earn interest. He took away what the man had and cast him away.
Verse 29 says, "To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away."
Who do we blame when we don't use our gifts to their greatest capacity? #ambition
Throughout the Bible, we see story after story of people who are praised for their excellent character, wisdom and abilities.
2 Chronicles 30;22 talks about the excellency of the musicians in the Temple. 1 Chronicles 26 recounts the greatness of the warriors. Nehemiah and Ruth are both extolled for their excellence. Several times in the book of Daniel, Daniel is praised for his excellence in all he did and said.
I believe that you can be ambitious and not excellent; but you cannot be excellent without being ambitious. #ambition
In all reasonable terms, who really wants to be the WORST at what they do? Many may settle for the middle road, but there is more at the top than just money, glory and honor.
When you reach the top of your field, your profession, or your organization it indicates you have done more than 'bury' your talent. You have put in time and effort to get more education. You have developed discipline, You have sacrificed time and energy to reach the position. As a result, you have more knowledge to share, more life skills to teach, and understand the truth of pursuing the path of excellence. A truly excellent, ambitious soul is compassionate to those on the journey.
I challenge you to Holy Ambition.
Declare that you will be EXCELLENT in your craft. Decide to pursue the top of the ladder, not by stepping on the people in front of you, but by lending a hand to those who have gone before you and for those coming after you.
Determine your life will show off the Glory of God, because you will use the talents, gifts and skills HE has given you to their greatest extent.
Live at Your Best! Live Inspired!
This is Part 2 of a 4 Part Series on Success and the Christian Woman. Read Part 1 here.