Selfish Ambitions

I recently was given an opportunity to attend six college classes related to my museum-related career.  This opportunity includes not only attending the courses but a portion of the coursework would be financed.  It would only cost my family about 50% of the original price.  The coursework would culminate with a Master of Art in Museum Administration degree.  I’d love to do it!

The catch?  I have to apply within the next two weeks, as courses start at the beginning of March. That’s okay…I’d love to do it!

As a lifelong learner, this is right up my alley. I love school and learning.  As a historian, this thrills me to learn more about how to showcase history.  And a discount?  That is the icing on the cake.  For sure…I’d love to do it!

But do I need the extra degree? Should I take the discounted classes, when someone else could possibly utilize the scholarship?  I already have a terminal degree. I’m already employed in museum work.  This degree won’t help me get promoted.  And frankly, without the discount had I even been considering another degree?   Yes, but…I’d love to do it!

More than the career implications, I want to consider what God has to say about ambition.  Was I being selfish in considering my application? 

James 3:14-18 (NIV) states, “But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.   But the wisdom that comes from heaven is, first of all, pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

The two-week deadline is what I initially struggled with.  I wanted time to pray about it and fully analyze the financial and time commitment that it meant for my family.  There’s nothing about selfish ambition that I want to be a part of.  It sounds horrible.  Even in my career, I want my ambitions to be God driven…God approved. 

Rather than jump the gun in selfish ambition, I’ve decided to wait. I’m changing that heartfelt desire to do this coursework to I’d love to do it…when it’s God’s timing for my career and my family’s schedule!

I pray that the Lord unveils any selfish ambitions in your own life!

~Emily