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Ten Concepts, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

27- Ambition Image: Growing plant, growth صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: نبات ينمو، النمو Image: Growing plant, growth

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: نبات ينمو، النمو

Ambition is the desire for elevation and continuous aspiration.

Ambition is the case of a person who never feels satisfied and never stops at a certain level.

Now, is this wrong or right? Is it spiritual or not spiritual? Normal or abnormal? Should a person go that way or resist it? These are important questions to which we shall give answers here with regard to the kind of ambition and its direction.

Ambition is a natural thing, part of man's nature.

Man is created after God's image and likeness. But God is unlimited, how then can man be made in God's image with regard to this attribute in particular while God alone is the Unlimited? The answer is that:

God created in man the inclination to the unlimited.

Since man cannot be unlimited by himself; for being unlimited is the attribute of God alone, his desires and

ambitions became inclined to an unlimited level . Whenever a person attains a certain position, he longs for a higher and better one, as we have discussed this issue before here on in other sections. St Paul says to us, "not to think [of himself] more highly than [he] ought to think, but to think soberly" (Rom. 12:3). So, as long as man is created in God's image, ambition will be a natural thing in him.

However, ambition differs from one person to another.

According to the kind of ambition, it is deemed to be good or evil. Good ambition is a long way one must walk. There is a sentence before which, believe me my friends, I stand astounded and amazed: "till we all come... to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13).

The path towards perfection is long and its concept is so deep, we ought not to walk in it slowly or sluggishly but to follow the words of the experienced saint, "Run in such a way that you may obtain it" (1 Cor 9:24). He even applies this to himself saying, "Therefore I run thus"

(1 Cor. 9:26).

I wonder whether this saint continued to run thus even after he had ascended to the third heaven.

Holy ambition then is spiritual ambition, aiming at a spiritual objective, and taking a spiritual course.

Yet, there is another kind of ambition; a worldly and sinful one, what is it?