“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4
I have often found in my personal experience and in working with other Christian women in business, that we wrestle with the distinction between being selfish and fulfilling our purpose. We somehow twist the idea of servant-hood into meaning it’s “bad” to want success.
The prophet, Paul, instructed the Philippians to have a mindset like Christ; to be humble and focused on others first. But how do you avoid falling into the trap of completely denying yourself of your own dreams and desires – feeling like you only live for everyone except yourself?
It’s a matter of the heart.
First, we must understand how selfish ambition is defined in this verse: a motivation to elevate yourself over others. It’s putting your own desires first and disregarding everyone else. It’s self-focused.
This does not mean we are wrong to have desires of the heart! God gives us desires. (Look at Eve in the garden!) He wants us to desire what is in alignment with his good and pleasing will.
So how do we create a servant-leader heart?
First, we need to do a heart-check. Do you truly care for those on your team? Do you find JOY in helping them succeed? The heart of a servant-leader is one that serves others out of love and humility, because your success is my success.
Do you see the distinction?
Focus on how you can add value to others. As Zig Ziglar says, “Help people get what they want, and they will help you get what you want.” When we operate out of a servant’s heart, people see beyond your leadership – they see the heart.
You don’t need to dim the light of others, in order to shine bright. Rather, use your light to carry the flame and multiply it. Shine bright, sister!