Mark’s #9 – Rescuing Ambition by Dave Harvey (224 pages)

As Christians, there is at least three ways to approach our ambitions. First, we can disconnect them from the gospel and what God has called His redeemed followers to be about.  In this way, our ambitions mirror the world’s ambitions – and often end in the same tragic places as the world’s selfish ambitions end.  Second, recognizing that ambition is so often tied to ego and selfish gains, we can try to suppress any ambition – since ‘ambition’ seems to lead to some bad things. Third, we can turn over our ambitions to God and have him rescue them for His glory and our good.  Obviously, Dave Harvey argues for this option throughout this book. In the first part of this book, Harvey shoes the pitfalls of the first two options.  He shows how and why our ambition ultimately needs to be rescued.

This book is a good, gospel-centered, biblically grounded book by a a guy who spent decades pastoring one of the Sovereign Grace church plants.  That being the case, and C.J. Mahenney writing the foreword tells those familiar with both what the focus of much of the book will be.

While this book wasn’t as revolutionary as I’d hoped for when I bought it, as I continued to read past the half way point, I found myself enjoying the book and it’s message more and more.  I love how the author tied our ambitions into God’s glory, the role of the local church, God’s purposes in our personal failures, the need for risk in ambitions, and the importance of our ambitions looking toward the next generation.

Here’s a few quotes that caught my attention:

Humility, rightly understood, shouldn’t be a fabric softener on our aspirations. When we become to humble to act, we’ve ceased being biblically humble.  True humility doesn’t kill our dreams; it provides a guardrail for them, ensuring that they remain on God’s road and move in the direction of His glory.

Jonathan Edwards called it ‘a holy ardency and vigor in the actings of grace.’

We’ll never be ambitious for what we don’t value.

If we have not what we desire, we have more than we deserve

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