Useful Bible Studies > 2 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 5

The right ambition

2 Corinthians 5:8-9

The ambition of most people is to be successful during their lives in this world. Of course, people have very different ideas about what success means. People may desire most to be rich or healthy, famous or powerful; or they may desire for their families to do well. Their ambition may be good or evil. However, all these ambitions have something in common. We can only achieve these things during our lives on earth. When we die, therefore, we will lose these things. Even a person who gains the whole world will lose everything at his death*.

So, Godís people need a different kind of ambition. In heaven, they will be with Christ, and they will remain with him always. They will no longer suffer the pains and troubles in their present lives*. It will be much better to be in heaven*.

You might think, therefore, that Paulís ambition was to reach his home in heaven. Paul clearly eagerly desired that. He knew that God would give it to him in the future. However, Paul was careful not to make it his ambition. He knew that God had given him work to do on earth, first*.

So, Paul made it his ambition simply to please God. During this life on earth, or in heaven, Paul wanted to please him always.

Paul knew that God has rewards for his loyal servants*. He understood how carefully God will test each personís work*. God will test their attitudes, and not just their actions. So Paul was careful to make sure that his ambition was also correct.

If we try to please ourselves, nothing can really satisfy us in the end. However, if our ambition is to please God, God himself will satisfy us completely*.

Next part: God will reward his servants for their work (5:10)


* See complete article for these Bible references.

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© 2016, Keith Simons.