Ambition is a good thing. The drive to do what is right and succeed it a powerful motivator. Why is it that ambition can also get us into trouble some times? James makes a distinction between "normal" ambition and "selfish" ambition. Selfish ambition and envy enter the mix when we become driven to succeed at the expense of others. When we want the best for ourselves we can be tempted to disregard others and only think of our own advancement on the lad...der of achievement.
James states plainly, "For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." (James 3:16). How are you doing when it comes to maintaining ambition but not at the expense of others? Paul steps up this same understanding when considering our place in relation to others by challenging believers in Philippi, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves." (Philippians 2:3) What an incredible challenge to put the needs of others above ourselves.