Ambition, the desire to achieve. It is Kendall's thesis that God often uses ambition to motivate us to do what He calls us to do. God often appeals to our self-interest, he writes. He also realizes that the trait has been tainted by the fall and needs to be upgraded to the motivation of wanting to please God alone. Our motivation must be developed so that it becomes God oriented instead of toward self-interest.
knows how to secure the response He wants in us. He has a thousand
ways to do it.” (60) He knows us best and knows how to get our
attention – how to motivate us. “It is not a sin to be
ambitious,” Kendall writes. “Ambition becomes sinful when it is
not subservient to a love for the honor of God.” (73) We are to lay
aside all ambition except to please our heavenly Father.
shows how our ambition should be channeled in one direction – to
glorify God. He relates ambition to the gifts of the Spirit (Kendall
teaches that the gifts of the Spirit are active today), and the fruit
of the Spirit. He looks at the ambition of various Bible characters.
also looks at selfish (unsanctified or carnal) ambition in biblical
characters and the damage it caused then and what it causes now. And
one can have too much ambition, even spiritually. Kendall says that
is his problem, that he missed his children growing up, etc.
looks at Ananias and Sapphira and then explores the wrath of God (not
eternal punishment but a severe chastening from God). This was hard
reading, that God would bring about judgment on people during their
lifetime (not having to do with their salvation, however).
found it interesting that Kendall says a person either has ambition
or not. (148) It cannot be taught. So ambition is something God uses
– but only if you have it.
ends with this admonition: “Make it your ambition, then, to excel
in your love for His glory.” (179)
book is also biographical as he tells on himself quite a bit throughout this work. He also uses the background of the 2012 London
Olympics, an event going on while he was writing this book.
is a good book for a person to read who has great ambition, whether
it be ambition for worldly success or in a spiritual endeavor. This
book will give one a great deal to think about. As Kendall says, not
everyone has great ambition. Those readers many not find much of
interest in this book.
R. T. Kendall is a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University,
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the University of Louisville,
and Oxford University. He was pastor at several churches in the United
States and then became the minister at Westminster Chapel in 1977,
remaining there 25 years. After his “retirement” he became active
in the Alexandria Peace Process. He is the author of more than fifty
books. He and his wife live on Hickory Lake in Hendersonville,
Books, 192 pages.
received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for
the purpose of this review.