100 Bible Verses about Ambition

Luke 9:25 ESV / 101 helpful votes

For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

Matthew 6:33 ESV / 83 helpful votes

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 23:12 ESV / 64 helpful votes

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

1 Timothy 6:9 ESV / 55 helpful votes

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

1 John 2:16 ESV / 52 helpful votes

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.

James 4:1-2 ESV / 41 helpful votes

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.

John 5:44 ESV / 38 helpful votes

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

Philippians 2:4 ESV / 35 helpful votes

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

James 4:2 ESV / 23 helpful votes

You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.

Matthew 16:26 ESV / 22 helpful votes

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

Philippians 2:3 ESV / 20 helpful votes

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Romans 15:20 ESV / 20 helpful votes

And thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation,

Romans 12:16 ESV / 18 helpful votes

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.

Matthew 23:5-7 ESV / 17 helpful votes

They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others.

Matthew 4:8-10 ESV / 14 helpful votes

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”

Colossians 2:8 ESV / 12 helpful votes

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Galatians 5:19-21 ESV / 11 helpful votes

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Jeremiah 45:5 ESV / 10 helpful votes

And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I am bringing disaster upon all flesh, declares the Lord. But I will give you your life as a prize of war in all places to which you may go.”

Isaiah 14:12-15 ESV / 10 helpful votes

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.

Isaiah 5:8 ESV / 10 helpful votes

Woe to those who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is no more room, and you are made to dwell alone in the midst of the land.

1 Timothy 3:1 ESV / 9 helpful votes

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.

Habakkuk 2:6 ESV / 9 helpful votes

Shall not all these take up their taunt against him, with scoffing and riddles for him, and say, “Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own— for how long?— and loads himself with pledges!”

Luke 22:26 ESV / 8 helpful votes

But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.

1 Kings 1:5 ESV / 6 helpful votes

Now Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.” And he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.

3 John 1:9 ESV / 5 helpful votes

I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV / 5 helpful votes

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

Romans 2:8 ESV / 5 helpful votes

But for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

Mark 9:33-37 ESV / 5 helpful votes

And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

Matthew 20:20 ESV / 5 helpful votes

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something.

Jeremiah 33:3 ESV / 5 helpful votes

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

Proverbs 21:15 ESV / 5 helpful votes

When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.

2 Kings 19:23 ESV / 5 helpful votes

By your messengers you have mocked the Lord, and you have said, ‘With my many chariots I have gone up the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon; I felled its tallest cedars, its choicest cypresses; I entered its farthest lodging place, its most fruitful forest.

2 Samuel 18:18 ESV / 5 helpful votes

Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself the pillar that is in the King's Valley, for he said, “I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.” He called the pillar after his own name, and it is called Absalom's monument to this day.

Genesis 11:4 ESV / 5 helpful votes

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

Genesis 3:5 ESV / 5 helpful votes

For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

James 4:1 ESV / 4 helpful votes

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?

James 3:14 ESV / 4 helpful votes

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.

James 1:22 ESV / 4 helpful votes

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James 1:19-20 ESV / 4 helpful votes

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 ESV / 4 helpful votes

And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

1 Thessalonians 4:11 ESV / 4 helpful votes

And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,

Philippians 1:17 ESV / 4 helpful votes

The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.

Romans 12:19 ESV / 4 helpful votes

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Acts 17:10-11 ESV / 4 helpful votes

The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

Luke 4:5-8 ESV / 4 helpful votes

And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”

Mark 12:39 ESV / 4 helpful votes

And have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts,

Mark 12:38 ESV / 4 helpful votes

And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces

Mark 10:35-45 ESV / 4 helpful votes

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, ...

Isaiah 14:13-14 ESV / 4 helpful votes

You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’

Psalm 90:17 ESV / 4 helpful votes

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!

Psalm 49:11-13 ESV / 4 helpful votes

Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their own names. Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish. This is the path of those who have foolish confidence; yet after them people approve of their boasts. Selah

Job 20:7 ESV / 4 helpful votes

He will perish forever like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’

Job 20:6 ESV / 4 helpful votes

Though his height mount up to the heavens, and his head reach to the clouds,

Esther 5:9-13 ESV / 4 helpful votes

And Haman went out that day joyful and glad of heart. But when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he neither rose nor trembled before him, he was filled with wrath against Mordecai. Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home, and he sent and brought his friends and his wife Zeresh. And Haman recounted to them the splendor of his riches, the number of his sons, all the promotions with which the king had honored him, and how he had advanced him above the officials and the servants of the king. Then Haman said, “Even Queen Esther let no one but me come with the king to the feast she prepared. And tomorrow also I am invited by her together with the king. Yet all this is worth nothing to me, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.”

2 Samuel 15:1-13 ESV / 4 helpful votes

After this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,” Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you.” Then Absalom would say, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.” And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. ...

Judges 9:1-6 ESV / 4 helpful votes

Now Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother's relatives and said to them and to the whole clan of his mother's family, “Say in the ears of all the leaders of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you, that all seventy of the sons of Jerubbaal rule over you, or that one rule over you?’ Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.” And his mother's relatives spoke all these words on his behalf in the ears of all the leaders of Shechem, and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, “He is our brother.” And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, who followed him. And he went to his father's house at Ophrah and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone. But Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, for he hid himself. ...

Numbers 16:13 ESV / 4 helpful votes

Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also make yourself a prince over us?

Numbers 16:3-35 ESV / 4 helpful votes

They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” When Moses heard it, he fell on his face, and he said to Korah and all his company, “In the morning the Lord will show who is his, and who is holy, and will bring him near to him. The one whom he chooses he will bring near to him. Do this: take censers, Korah and all his company; put fire in them and put incense on them before the Lord tomorrow, and the man whom the Lord chooses shall be the holy one. You have gone too far, sons of Levi!” ...

Numbers 12:2 ESV / 4 helpful votes

And they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it.

Numbers 12:2-10 ESV / 4 helpful votes

And they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it. Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth. And suddenly the Lord said to Moses and to Aaron and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.” And the three of them came out. And the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the tent and called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forward. And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. ...

Genesis 3:6 ESV / 4 helpful votes

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

Hebrews 11:1-40 ESV / 3 helpful votes

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. ...

Philippians 2:3-4 ESV / 3 helpful votes

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

2 Corinthians 12:20 ESV / 3 helpful votes

For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.

2 Corinthians 5:9 ESV / 3 helpful votes

So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.

1 Corinthians 10:24 ESV / 3 helpful votes

Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.

Romans 12:10 ESV / 3 helpful votes

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Romans 12:2 ESV / 3 helpful votes

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Matthew 23:11-12 ESV / 3 helpful votes

The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Matthew 5:6 ESV / 3 helpful votes

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Habakkuk 2:5 ESV / 3 helpful votes

“Moreover, wine is a traitor, an arrogant man who is never at rest. His greed is as wide as Sheol; like death he has never enough. He gathers for himself all nations and collects as his own all peoples.”

Jeremiah 29:1-32 ESV / 3 helpful votes

These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the eunuchs, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had departed from Jerusalem. The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. It said: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. ...

Job 20:5-9 ESV / 3 helpful votes

That the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment? Though his height mount up to the heavens, and his head reach to the clouds, he will perish forever like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’ He will fly away like a dream and not be found; he will be chased away like a vision of the night. The eye that saw him will see him no more, nor will his place any more behold him.

2 Samuel 15:4 ESV / 3 helpful votes

Then Absalom would say, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.”

Numbers 16:3 ESV / 3 helpful votes

They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?”

Genesis 3:5-6 ESV / 3 helpful votes

For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

Revelation 1:1 ESV / 2 helpful votes

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,

3 John 1:10 ESV / 2 helpful votes

So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

1 Peter 5:5 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

1 Peter 3:8 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

James 3:18 ESV / 2 helpful votes

And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

James 3:16 ESV / 2 helpful votes

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

James 3:14-16 ESV / 2 helpful votes

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Hebrews 10:35-36 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV / 2 helpful votes

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

2 Thessalonians 2:4 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

Colossians 3:23 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

Philippians 4:13 ESV / 2 helpful votes

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 3:13-14 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 5:26 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Galatians 2:20 ESV / 2 helpful votes

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 1:10 ESV / 2 helpful votes

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

1 Corinthians 14:12 ESV / 2 helpful votes

So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 12:31 ESV / 2 helpful votes

But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

1 Corinthians 3:3 ESV / 2 helpful votes

For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

Romans 13:13 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.

Romans 12:1-21 ESV / 2 helpful votes

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. ...

Romans 8:28 ESV / 2 helpful votes

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Suggest a Verse

Enter a Verse Reference (e.g., John 3:16-17)


Visit the Bible online to search for words if you don’t know the specific passage your’re looking for.