Selfish Ambition

2 Samuel 15:1-12, 18:9-18
P. G. Mathew | Sunday, February 1, 1998
Copyright © 1998, P. G. Mathew

What is selfish ambition? It means to be self-seeking and always looking out for one's own interests above the interests of anyone else. The Greek word for selfish ambition is eritheia, and the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle defined selfishly ambitious people as those who want to achieve political office by making themselves look bigger and better before others through trickery. In other words, selfishly ambitious people are those who will electioneer for office and court popular applause by deceit. They are always putting themselves forward without reference to truth. They are full of such slogans as, "Make way for me! I am better than all of you. Vote for me, and I will be your savior." The Antichrist is an example of such a politician. When he comes, he will be characterized by eritheia, selfish ambition, and he will use deceit and trickery to promote himself.

The Bitter Fruit of Selfish Ambition

In today's world selfishly ambitious behavior is greatly applauded. Haven't we all been told we need to look out for number one, meaning ourselves? But the Bible considers selfish ambition as evil. It is one of the works of the flesh that we read about in Galatians 5:20, and in Romans 2:8 we read that the wrath of God awaits those who are selfishly ambitious. In James 3:14-16 we read that the wisdom of a selfishly ambitious person comes from the devil, not from above, and in his letter to the Philippians Paul warns us that even ministers of the gospel can be self-seeking and vainglorious (Phil. 1:17). So Paul warns us in Philippians 2:3-5, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus."

A man characterized by this vice of eritheia is full of himself. Such a person lives to glorify himself, but there is a problem in doing that. In the process of seeking his own interests first and seeking to glorify himself rather than others, a selfishly ambitious person will destroy himself. Selfish ambition yields bitter fruit, in other words. In this study I want to examine several examples from the Bible of people whose lives illustrate selfish ambition and its bitter fruit.

The Example of Absalom

The first person we want to consider is Absalom, whom we read about in 2 Samuel 13-18. Absalom's name means "Father is peace," which implies that Absalom was one who honored his father. But Absalom hated his father because Absalom was selfishly ambitious.

Absalom was the third son of King David. His mother was a pagan named Maacah, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur. The Bible tells us Absalom was extremely handsome. Second Samuel 14:26 tells us "from the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him," but we must note here that whenever you read in the Bible that someone is handsome, you may also correctly conclude that person is vain and a spiritual nothing. Absalom was so vain that whenever he cut his hair, he would weigh it. Why? The Bible tells us its weight was usually about five pounds, and I am sure that fact brought much glory to Absalom.

Absalom had a sister, Tamar, who was also very beautiful. In fact, Tamar was so beautiful that her half-brother Amnon, David's first son, violated her, thereby causing her to live the rest of her life as a mourning widow. But Absalom was also very crafty and cunning. He murdered Amnon and then fled to his grandfather, the king of Geshur. With the help of Joab Absalom was allowed to return to Jerusalem after three years, and later Absalom was restored to full favor with his father David.

Selfish Ambition Manifested

Second Samuel 15:1 tells us that "in the course of time" Absalom began to put himself forward as the hope of Israel. In a clever, crooked, sly, subtle way he began to spread his message: "Look at me! I am Absalom, God's gift for Israel." How did he do this? The Bible tells us Absalom provided himself with chariots and horses and had fifty men who ran ahead of him to praise and applaud him wherever he went.

Absalom was a born politician. He was tall, handsome, and possessed the gift of gab. He was a hardworking person who would rise early each day and go with his fifty men, chariots, and horses to the main road leading into Jerusalem. There Absalom would intercept Israelites who were coming to Jerusalem to bring their cases before King David for adjudication. Absalom would listen to these people and without examination would tell them, "You know, your case is just, but the problem is this father of mine. He is no good, and he has no representative to listen to your just case. If only I were the king of Israel!"

Absalom knew this behavior would ingratiate himself with the people of Israel, and it did. Not only that, whenever anyone would bow before him, Absalom would grasp the person's hands, lift him up and hug and kiss him. Such actions further endeared him to his father's subjects.

Now, there is nothing unusual about what Absalom was doing. In fact, this type of behavior is recommended for anyone who wants to become successful. When I first started in the ministry a friend told me that if I wanted to become rich and famous as a minister, I should make it a practice to pick up infants and hug them, kiss them, and tell their parents how cute the children were. My friend assured me that if I did so, the parents in my congregation would love me, invite me to their homes and give me money. I rebuked my friend for such advice.

The Ruthlessness of Selfish Ambition

This selfishly ambitious Absalom had no regard for truth. He was always using trickery and deceit to push himself forward. He was so ruthless that he would even destroy his own father and mother--yea, his whole family--for the sake of realizing his own political ambitions.

So Absalom spoke evil of his father David to all who came to Jerusalem for justice. He used every trick in the book--innuendo, insinuation, ingratiation, kissing, handshaking, backslapping, flattery, and commiseration--to promote himself and to put his father, King David, down.

Why do you think Absalom did all these things? Because Absalom wanted to be king. There was only one problem: it was not God's will for Absalom to be king. A selfishly ambitious person wants very much to achieve that which God denies.

Absalom knew God had called Solomon, not Absalom, to succeed David, but that knowledge did not stop Absalom. No doubt he was thinking to himself, "Who cares for the eternal purposes, plans and will of this God everyone is talking about? I am a pagan and my mother is a pagan. I don't know if there even is a God. Therefore, I determine I will become king by my own ability. I will push myself, my abilities, and my accomplishments to the limit to achieve this. I know people have said the kingship is not God's will for me, but I am going to take it anyway. After all, am I not born to be a king? Just look at me: I am so tall and handsome, I have beautiful long, thick, curly hair, and I am a great speaker, highly skilled in trickery and deceit. Don't I have chariots, horses and fifty men to run ahead of me? Just look at how popular I am! I know how to press flesh. I can kiss and hug with the best of them."

The Bible tells us that at the end of four years years all of Israel had turned against David. Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel from their legitimate king, David, who was the true man after God's own heart and the one whom God had chosen to lead his people. Even Ahithophel, David's trusted counselor, defected. So in 2 Samuel 15 we read how Absalom went to Hebron and made himself king. He knew God did not want him to become king, but he ignored God. "I won! See, I have become king!" Absalom declared. And as he did this, his father David fled, barefoot and weeping, from Jerusalem.

God Deals with Selfish Ambition

But God was for David and against Absalom. So God caused Absalom to ignore the good counsel of Ahithophel and he did not attack David when he was weary and weak.

In 2 Samuel 17:14 we read, "Absalom and all the men of Israel said, 'The advice of Hushai the Arkite is better than that of Ahithophel.'" Why do you think they said that? The writer gives us the reason: "For the Lord had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom." I counsel every person who is inclined to be selfishly ambitious that in the same way my God will frustrate all your plans and bring disaster upon you.

When Absalom finally attacked David and his army in the forest of Ephraim east of the Jordan River, he quickly realized that his selfish ambition could not compete with God's sovereignty. In 2 Samuel 18:9 we read, "Now Absalom happened to meet David's men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom's head got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going."

Absalom--this tall, popular, handsome, eloquent leader--was left by himself hanging by his hair in the forest. Everyone had deserted him. Even his own mule left him. He who had said, "I am not worried about God's purposes and ordination. I will make myself king," found himself caught by his own hair and deserted by all.

Do you remember how King David said in 2 Samuel 18:5, "Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake"? When Joab found Absalom hanging in the tree he ignored David's words. He plunged three javelins into the heart of the hanging Absalom. Then Joab's men killed Absalom, cut him down from the tree, and put him into a pit. They piled rocks over him, thus burying him as a criminal, not as a king's son.

The destruction of Absalom is a warning to all of us. Selfish ambition cannot compete with divine sovereignty. There is bitter fruit from selfish ambition.

The Example of Adonijah

The next example we want to examine is that of Adonijah, David's fourth son. Adonijah's name means "Jehovah is Lord," and we read about him in 1 Kings 1-2.

By the time of Adonijah's rebellion David was old, senile and dying. Even though Adonijah was the fourth son of David, by this time he was the oldest because all his older brothers were dead. Amnon had been killed by Absalom, Absalom had been killed by Joab, and a third older brother seems to have died by then also.

In 1 Kings 1:5 we read, "Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, 'I will be king.'" What was Adonijah doing? Practicing eritheia--selfish ambition--through trickery. Well, as we learned from Absalom, what does a selfishly ambitious person have to do to become king? He must acquire some chariots, horses, and men. So we read, "[Adonijah] got chariots and horses ready with fifty men to run ahead of him." And then we read something very significant for fathers in verse 6: "His father had never interfered with him by asking, 'Why do you behave as you do?'" From this we may conclude that Adonijah was never given any discipline as a child.

In verse 6 we also read: "He was also very handsome." What else could Israel want in a king? Adonijah was the eldest son, he was very handsome, and he had horses, chariots, and fifty men. But there was one problem, and Adonijah knew it. It was not God's will for Adonijah to be king. Adonijah's younger brother Solomon was God's choice to succeed his father David.

Did any of that matter to Adonijah? No. Like Absalom, Adonijah was full of selfish ambition. So we can imagine what he was thinking: "I don't care about Solomon. Am I not handsome? Am I not the oldest son? Don't I have chariots, horses and fifty men? Am I not a go-getter? Don't I know how to win friends and influence people? Am I not a born politician? Don't I have the support of some very powerful people, including Joab the general and Abiathar the priest?" So Adonijah pushed himself forward in the strength of his flesh over against God's sovereignty, God's purposes and God's ordination. At the spring of En Rogel, just south of Jerusalem, he proclaimed himself king.

Let me say again, selfish ambition cannot compete with God's sovereignty. God used the prophet Nathan at just the right moment to cause the senile, dying David to come alive so that he could fulfill God's eternal purpose and anoint Solomon as king. When Adonijah heard of Solomon's anointing, he was panic-stricken and ran to take hold of the horns of the altar for safety. King Solomon spared him from death at that time with the stipulation that he would submit to Solomon for the rest of his life. But soon Adonijah rebelled against that rule. Adonijah asked Solomon if he could marry Abishag, David's concubine. That may sound like an innocuous request, but in reality Adonijah was trying to stake his claim for the throne.

Solomon knew what Adonijah was doing, and in 1 Kings 2:23 we read, "Then King Solomon swore by the Lord: 'May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if Adonijah does not pay with his life for this request! And now, as surely as the Lord lives--he who has established me securely on the throne of my father David and has founded a dynasty for me as he promised--Adonijah shall be put to death today!'" Adonijah was killed, thus tasting the bitter fruit of selfish ambition.

The Example of Saul

We find another example of selfish ambition in the life of King Saul. First Samuel 9:2 tells us Saul was "an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites--a head taller than any of the others." Not only was Saul tall, but he was also politically astute, and God appointed him as the military leader of Israel.

But Saul was also selfishly ambitious. Pagan rulers at that time were both kings and priests at the same time. Saul was interested in implementing such a consolidation of power in Israel as well, but there was one problem: God appointed Saul to be king, but he also appointed Samuel to be the religious leader.

Saul wanted to be both king and priest--the sole ruler--just like the pagan kings. Motivated by selfish ambition, he did not want to submit to God's plan because he thought it was too restrictive and constraining to be just a military leader.

Thus, Saul did not worry about obeying Samuel's instructions when Samuel told him to wait for him to offer sacrifices, as we read in 1 Samuel 13. In defiance of Samuel, Saul offered sacrifices before Samuel came. Later on Samuel told Saul to utterly defeat and destroy the Amalekites and execute God's justice upon them. Again, Saul rebelled and spared the Amalekite king, Agag, and some of the livestock. Saul's selfish ambition surfaced again when he built a monument for himself (1 Sam. 15:12).

After all of these things God rejected Saul as king. In 1 Samuel 16 we read that the Holy Spirit departed from him and an evil spirit came upon him. He began to desire to kill David, even though he knew David was God's own choice. This is the nature of selfish ambition. As I said before, a selfishly ambitious person might even kill his own mother or father to put himself forward.

But as we saw in the cases of Absalom and Adonijah, selfish ambition cannot compete with God's sovereignty. After being defeated by the Philistine army on Mount Gilboa, Saul committed suicide. Saul experienced the bitter fruit of selfish ambition.

The Example of Korah

We find another example of selfish ambition in the account of Korah and his followers in Numbers 16. Do you know what the name Korah means? Bald.

Korah was a Levite who had a very good ministry of transporting the furniture of God's tabernacle, but he was not satisfied with God's calling for him. Korah was restless, unhappy, and dissatisfied. (PGM) He was full of envy and jealousy, and was constantly grumbling about God's gifts and calling for his life. Why? In his selfish ambition Korah wanted something else. What was it? Moses' job.

What do you suppose Korah was thinking? No doubt it was something like this: "Who does this Moses think he is? I'm just as good as he is. I could do the job Moses is doing. In fact, I think I would do a better job than Moses." And the Bible tells us that Korah stirred up many leaders in Israel and caused them to join him in his opposition to Moses.

However, there was one problem: God was for Moses, not Korah. So in Numbers 16:8-11 Moses confronted Korah and his followers and told them, "Now listen, you Levites! Isn't it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the Lord's tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them? He has brought you and all your fellow Levites near himself, but now you are trying to get the priesthood also. It is against the Lord that you and all your followers have banded together.'"

Let me assure you, God will deal with all selfishly ambitious people. The selfish ambition of Korah was dashed to pieces upon the solid rock of God's sovereignty. In Numbers 16:25-30 we read: "Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. He warned the assembly, 'Move back from the tents of these wicked men! Do not touch anything belonging to them, or you will be swept away because of all their sins.' So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, children and little ones at the entrances to their tents. Then Moses said, 'This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea: If these men die a natural death and experience only what usually happens to men, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have treated the Lord with contempt.'" And in verses 31-33 we find that is exactly what happened: "As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, with their households and all Korah's men and all their possessions. They went down alive into the grave, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community." Korah and his followers tasted the bitter fruit of selfish ambition.

The Example of Joab

We find still another example of selfish ambition in the person of Joab. Joab was a nephew of King David, although David and Joab were probably the same age. Joab had a very high and powerful job as the general of King David's army, yet in his lifetime he cruelly murdered two innocent generals, Abner and Amasa, to protect his own power and position. Why do you think he acted that way? Because Joab was filled with selfish ambition.

Before David died he told his son Solomon to deal with Joab, as we read in 1 Kings 2:5-6. And in 1 Kings 2:28 we read that Joab "ran into the tent of the Lord and took hold of the horns of the altar" to flee from Solomon. But he was cut down there according to the instructions David had given to Solomon. Joab received the bitter fruit of his selfish ambition.

The Example of Shimei

In 2 Samuel 16 we read about a Benjamite named Shimei who cursed David as David fled from Absalom's army. Shimei was also filled with selfish ambition. Because Shimei was from Saul's clan and was hoping that Saul's dynasty would come back to power, he cursed David and threw rocks at him when he saw him fleeing from Absalom. But David, not Saul, was God's anointed king, and so God dealt with Shimei eventually for his actions against David. Before he died David gave Solomon clear instructions about how to deal with Shimei, and in 1 Kings 2:46 we read that Shimei was killed when he failed to live within the restrictions Solomon had placed on him. Shimei also tasted the bitter fruit of selfish ambition.

The Example of Uzziah

In 2 Chronicles 26 we find another example of selfish ambition in King Uzziah of Judah. Uzziah became king of Judah when he was just sixteen years old and ruled in Jerusalem for fifty-two years. In the early part of his reign Uzziah became very powerful with God's help.

But 2 Chronicles 26:16 tells us, "After Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall." God had exalted Uzziah and made him a great king--powerful, famous, rich, skillful, and a great military strategist. But Uzziah was not satisfied by his power, wealth, and fame as king of Judah. He also wanted to be the chief priest.

Uzziah was afflicted with the same disease that afflicted Saul--the desire to be like the pagan rulers and consolidate all political and religious power in himself. He wanted to get rid of all the priests and be the sole authority. He was selfishly ambitious, in other words, desiring that which God did not intend for him to have.

What did Uzziah do to achieve his goal? Verse 16 also tells us he entered the temple "to burn incense on the altar of incense." Uzziah knew this was not the job of the king of Israel, but in his desire to be high priest, he went beyond what God had called him to do. However, in verse 17 we read, "Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the Lord followed him in. They confronted him and said, 'It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the Lord God" (2 Chron. 26:16-18).

Did Uzziah listen to the priests? No. He resisted them and so in God's sovereignty judgment came upon him. Verse 19 tells us, "While [Uzziah] was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the Lord's temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead. When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the Lord had afflicted him." And then we read a final, sad statement: "King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house--leprous, and excluded from the temple of the Lord" (v. 21). Uzziah tasted the bitter fruit of selfish ambition.

The Example of Joseph

A selfishly ambitious person, therefore, is one who wants what God does not want for him and refuses to function in the calling of God for his life. Such a person is always reaching for and working for something greater, but in the process of doing so, he destroys himself. These examples from the Scriptures are a clear warning to all of us that we must acknowledge the sovereignty of God--his plan and his purposes--for our individual lives. We must be satisfied in our calling and seek to function in that calling with the gifts God gives us, or we also may taste the bitter fruit of selfish ambition.

Now, the Bible also gives us some wonderful examples of some who did embrace God's calling and functioned within that calling. In Genesis 37 we are introduced to Joseph.

When Joseph was seventeen years old God gave him two dreams, both of which contained the message that Joseph one day would be a ruler over his brothers. Now, Joseph's brothers already hated Joseph because his father loved him more than them, but after Joseph told them his dreams, they hated him even more. When they saw Joseph coming to visit one day, Joseph's brothers decided to kill him. They caught him and threw him into a cistern, intending to kill him. Then, instead of killing him, they sold Joseph as a slave to some Ishmaelites, who, in turn, sold him to an Egyptian named Potiphar. For some time Joseph served in Potiphar's household, pleasing Potiphar with his service. But then Potiphar's wife falsely accused Joseph of molesting her, and Joseph was thrown into prison.

What do you suppose Joseph was thinking during these events? I am sure he remembered the dreams God had given him. But Joseph trusted in his God and although he did not understand why all these terrible things were happening to him, he knew God would work all things together for his good. While Joseph was in prison God enabled him to correctly interpret the dreams of two fellow prisoners, the cupbearer and the baker of Pharaoh. In accordance with Joseph's interpretation, the baker was executed and the cupbearer was released. Joseph had asked the cupbearer to remember him when he got out of prison, and I am sure Joseph longed for the day the cupbearer would plead his case before Pharaoh. But the Bible tells us that the cupbearer forgot about Joseph for two years after his release from prison. However, God never forgot about Joseph.

In 1 Peter 5:6 we read, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." There is a due time for God's people who are not self-seeking and who trust God's unfailing promise. Joseph was such a person.

One day God gave two dreams to Pharaoh. When Pharaoh woke up, he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt, but none of them could interpret the dreams. At this time, all of a sudden the cupbearer remembered Joseph and confessed his guilt in forgetting him.

Here we see a marvelous demonstration of God's sovereign workings. God caused the cupbearer to tell Pharaoh about Joseph, and God caused Pharaoh to call for Joseph. When Joseph came, God gave him the correct interpretation of the dreams, and God caused Pharaoh to appoint Joseph as the ruler of all Egypt. Thus the dreams God gave Joseph long before were fulfilled.

In Genesis 41:39 we read, "Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders.'" And verses 42-3 tell us, "Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph's finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and men shouted before him, 'Make way!' Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt."

Let me assure you again, no person and no power in the entire universe can frustrate God's plan if that plan is to exalt you in due time. Therefore, we must realize that there is absolutely no reason for us to be selfishly ambitious and put ourselves forward. Our job is to humble ourselves before God, who will exalt us in due season.

The Example of Jesus

Finally, let us examine the life of Jesus Christ, the ultimate example of one who embraced God's calling and functioned within that calling. In Philippians 2:3-5 Paul warns against selfish ambition and then he tells us how to think: "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. . . ."

Who is Christ Jesus, that we should emulate him? He is God-man, the One who made himself nothing and humbled himself, becoming obedient to the death of the cross. Why did Jesus do these things? Because he was fulfilling God's plan for his life. Jesus was not selfishly ambitious and he never sought to please himself. He always pleased his Father by doing the Father's will, which included accomplishing redemption for us by dying on the cross for our sins.

In Philippians 2:9 Paul tells us, "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place, and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God the Father." Jesus Christ humbled himself, and God exalted him.

May all of us take same path as Jesus Christ did. When we confess Jesus as Lord, we are humbling ourselves. And when we do that, we will enjoy the great privilege of being servants of Jesus Christ. God will enable us to function in the positions he grants us, and we ourselves will consider it a privilege to serve our Lord. Jesus Christ died for our salvation; thus, those who are redeemed live their lives in humility and service to him. What benefit is it to us to live like this? True fulfillment, true rest, true refreshment, and true satisfaction will come to us when we abide in the place where God has called us. That is life eternal.

Hope for the Selfishly Ambitious

If, then, you realize that you are a self-righteous, selfishly ambitious person, I counsel you to repent and find mercy from our only Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. And if you are in the church and find yourself filled with selfish ambition in the church, consider what the apostle Paul told us in the twelfth chapter of 1 Corinthians. In verse 14 he said, "Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,' it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body." In verse 18 he wrote, " But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body." And, finally, in verse 26 he said, "If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."

There is no reason for a Christian to be selfishly ambitious, especially within the body of Christ. Therefore, if we have been afflicted by the evil of selfish ambition--this putting ourselves forward through deceit and trickery, this wanting to be what God doesn't want us to be and this trying to achieve it by relying on our natural and physical strength--we must change. As we said before, selfish ambition is applauded by the world but it is despised in the church of Jesus Christ because selfish ambition is a denial of God's sovereignty and just rulership.

What will happen if we ignore the warnings of the Bible and continue to walk in selfish ambition? In God's time we shall meet with the solid rock of divine sovereignty. But let me assure you, such an experience will not be very pleasant. We will taste the bitter fruit of selfish ambition for the rest of our lives.

May we always be satisfied with God's gifting and calling of us! Whether we are toes or eyes, we have God as our portion and comfort, and thus we can be fully satisfied in the Lord Jesus Christ. May God help us to repent of selfish ambition and may we seek to be clothed with humility that God may exalt us in due season. And may we always remember that if God has plans to exalt us, no power in the universe shall frustrate his eternal plan. Amen.

Copyright © 1998, P. G. Mathew

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