I write this article on the day commemorating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., who is of course best known for his leadership in the movement that broke the stranglehold of segregation from the lives of black Americans. Though it is not often factored into his great legacy, King also had a profound conviction about the importance of ambition and excellence in vocational work and the effect hard work has on the formation of character. Undoubtedly King’s great ambition was a determining factor in the success of the freedom movement, as it would have been impossible to capture the conscience of the nation and achieve landmark legislative success without ambitious goals. As formidable as segregation was in the 1950s and 1960s American South, it would not have been defeated w
Ambition: Virtue or Vice?
Let’s admit it: The idea of ambition can make pastors feel squeamish. We’ve all seen the ways some faith leaders sink into greed, neglect their own spiritual lives, and abuse their authority — all in the name of ambition and excellence. Does this mean pastors should avoid the pursuit of excellence in their work?