The Problem of Envy and Selfish Ambition

The day you were born-again you grew in wisdom. Your eyes were opened to god’s wisdom and your life forever changed. There are many who are wise in the world’s eyes but true wisdom comes only from God.
Wisdom, does not mean knowledge. It does not mean information. It means the application of knowledge with divine power to the reshaping of life, transforming attitudes, transforming behavior into righteousness. Wisdom then is not what I know, wisdom is how I live. And so how I live according to the wisdom of God is a barometer on my spiritual condition.” ~ John McArthur
James tells us in James 3:14 that envy and selfish ambition harbored in our hearts is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic wisdom. Take note of where this envy and selfish ambition lies – it lies quietly in our hearts where no one may see it…but there it lies and it leads us down a path into disorder.
This next quote is LONG lol!  but bear with me as John McArthur says it so much better than I ever could:
So earthly wisdom is spawned by demons, it is reflective of sensual feeling and it goes no further than the fallenness of mankind. That is earthbound sensual demonic wisdom. And that’s the way most people live. But Satan calls it wisdom.
When Eve was in the garden in chapter 3 verse 6, she looked on the fruit because she heard that the tree was able to make one wise. That was a lie. Satan always promises wisdom. And he always promises that you will know and be in the know and understand and be erudite and be educated. But the wisdom of the world proceeds from evil spirits. It proceeds from fallen angels. It proceeds from demons. It proceeds from Satan and his agents who are disguised as ministers of light when in fact they are ministers of darkness.”  
This video below touches on worldly wisdom, God’s wisdom and how I pursue peace in my daily life.  Peace is my theme word of the year!

James 3:13-18 ESV
Wisdom from Above
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Selfish ambition leads to disorder.  Is there disorder in your home, work place, friendships or church?  Perhaps selfish ambition has reared its ugly head.  Pursue wisdom from above – be pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Walk with the King!

Today is Women Living Well Wednesday! It’s a Link-Up Day!!!

Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don’t forget if you join below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button to your post so your readers can find us here! (posts can include the topics of marriage, parenting, homemaking, finances, recipes, organization and more!)

I’m linked up here today: Mustard Seeds


  1. My husband always says…a good litmus test is if you…
    "weep with those who weep" and/or "rejoice with those who rejoice"

    That piece is really between just you and God.
    But– I do feel he's correct–
    It is a good self check (for jealousy especially)…

  2. OH Kara – I LOVE this litmus test! Great thought- thank you for sharing!

  3. Thank you for a very timely video! Also, I want to encourage you to not always measure God's will by the peace you feel. Look in the Bible for examples of those who did the will of God in the presence of a lack of peace! ~ Moses, for instance, lacked peace about going to talk to Pharoah. Job lacked peace as he sat covered in boils. Jonah lacked peace about going to Nineveh. Etc….
    I always remember those who didn't feel peace when they knew God was calling them to a task.

    It reminds me of a church we went to years ago where we had to take a "Gifts" test to see what gifting we were given so they would know what our strengths were for service. SO many times, however, God asks us to do the difficult thing ! something not of our gifting. If I am asked to teach and I'm not gifted as a teacher, I think I'd lie prostrate before God while preparing for it and not rely on my own (lack of) personal talents. LOL It would truly come from the Holy Spirit, because I wouldn't have the ability on my own to accomplish His work. He uses the weak to show his power. Just as sometimes He uses our willingness to endure a storm and punch through an unpeaceful time to display His perfect will!!

    Our hearts are desperately wicked ~ who can trust it? Whatever we feel, it's not 100% reliable.

    Do the right (and sometimes unpeaceful) thing ~ walk with God ~ even in the midst of chaos or lack of peace!

    Blessings to you, and thank you for your wonderful website.

  4. I enjoyed the quotes, scriptures, video and thoughts on Envy. It was a very enlightening post.
    Blessings to you!

  5. Courtney, I am so honored to have you link this to the weekly link Jennifer Janes and I host. You were an inspiration for it…..envy…it's a root evil I have to hand over to God daily. He is breaking me of it….and freeing me from the bondage. Thank you for speaking his truth to my heart today! Thank you for including our button….but, it really is not necessary.

  6. What a blessing to have you link up with us today at Mom's Mustard Seeds! Thank you!

    I am guilty of envy too. I struggle with being content with the portion God has given me. It's something I'm working on. Thank you for sharing what you've found in your studies on the topic!

  7. Love this post! SO thankful for how the Lord gently teaches me and reveals his truth. Truly, He cares for us! This is so timely for me today…like water to my soul…

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