100 Bible Verses about Ambition

Luke 9:25 ESV / 176 helpful votes

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

Matthew 23:12 ESV / 143 helpful votes

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

Matthew 6:33 ESV / 143 helpful votes

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

1 Timothy 6:9 ESV / 121 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.

Philippians 2:4 ESV / 103 helpful votes

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

1 John 2:16 ESV / 102 helpful votes

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

John 5:44 ESV / 87 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?

James 4:1-2 ESV / 86 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.

Philippians 2:3 ESV / 78 helpful votes

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

Romans 15:20 ESV / 67 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,

James 4:2 ESV / 57 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 / 52 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?

Romans 12:16 ESV / 51 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 / 44 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 / 44 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.’”

1 Corinthians 10:24 ESV / 39 helpful votes

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

Romans 2:8 ESV / 39 helpful votes

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

Galatians 5:19-21 ESV / 37 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.

Philippians 2:3-4 ESV / 33 helpful votes

Do nothing from selfish ambition 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.

1 Peter 5:5 ESV / 32 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.”

Galatians 5:26 ESV / 28 helpful votes

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

Colossians 2:8 ESV / 24 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.

Revelation 1:1 ESV / 23 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,

2 Corinthians 12:20 ESV / 23 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.

1 Corinthians 3:3 ESV / 23 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?

Galatians 1:10 ESV / 21 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.

James 3:14 ESV / 20 helpful votes

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

James 3:14-16 ESV / 20 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.

Galatians 2:20 ESV / 20 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.

1 Thessalonians 4:11 ESV / 19 helpful votes

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

Colossians 3:23 ESV / 18 helpful votes

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

1 Corinthians 14:12 ESV / 18 helpful votes

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

Luke 22:26 ESV / 18 helpful votes

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

Matthew 5:6 ESV / 18 helpful votes

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

Jeremiah 45:5 ESV / 18 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.”

James 3:16 ESV / 16 helpful votes

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

James 1:22 ESV / 16 helpful votes

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

1 Timothy 3:1 ESV / 16 helpful votes

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

Psalm 119:36 ESV / 16 helpful votes

Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!

Luke 14:11 ESV / 15 helpful votes

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Isaiah 14:12-15 ESV / 15 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.

Psalm 40:8 ESV / 15 helpful votes

I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

Jeremiah 33:3 ESV / 14 helpful votes

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

1 Corinthians 3:2 ESV / 13 helpful votes

I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,

John 4:34 ESV / 13 helpful votes

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.

Psalm 90:17 ESV / 13 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!

Daniel 5:18-23 ESV / 12 helpful votes

O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty. And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled. But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him. He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will. And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, ...

Isaiah 5:8 ESV / 12 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.

2 Samuel 18:18 ESV / 12 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.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 ESV / 11 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.

Philippians 1:17 ESV / 11 helpful votes

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

Mark 9:33-37 ESV / 11 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.”

Proverbs 21:15 ESV / 11 helpful votes

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

1 Kings 1:5 ESV / 11 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.

Revelation 21:8 ESV / 9 helpful votes

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

1 Peter 3:8 ESV / 9 helpful votes

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

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 ESV / 9 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 4:2 ESV / 9 helpful votes

Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.

Matthew 7:12 ESV / 9 helpful votes

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Revelation 11:1-19 ESV / 8 helpful votes

Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. ...

1 Peter 5:8 ESV / 8 helpful votes

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Philippians 2:7 ESV / 8 helpful votes

But emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

Galatians 6:2 ESV / 8 helpful votes

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 5:3 ESV / 8 helpful votes

I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.

1 Corinthians 12:31 ESV / 8 helpful votes

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

John 3:16-17 ESV / 8 helpful votes

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Isaiah 14:13-14 ESV / 8 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.’

Galatians 5:1-26 ESV / 7 helpful votes

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. ...

2 Corinthians 5:9 ESV / 7 helpful votes

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

Romans 12:10 ESV / 7 helpful votes

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

Matthew 23:11-12 ESV / 7 helpful votes

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

Habakkuk 2:5 ESV / 7 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.”

3 John 1:9 ESV / 6 helpful votes

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

Hebrews 10:35-36 ESV / 6 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.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV / 6 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.

2 Thessalonians 2:4 ESV / 6 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.

Philippians 3:13-14 ESV / 6 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.

Philippians 3:1-21 ESV / 6 helpful votes

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; ...

Philippians 1:1-30 ESV / 6 helpful votes

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. ...

Galatians 5:2 ESV / 6 helpful votes

Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.

1 Corinthians 3:19 ESV / 6 helpful votes

For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,”

Romans 1:2 ESV / 6 helpful votes

Which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,

Luke 4:5-8 ESV / 6 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 10:35-45 ESV / 6 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, ...

Matthew 6:19-20 ESV / 6 helpful votes

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Habakkuk 2:6 ESV / 6 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!”

Ezekiel 31:10-11 ESV / 6 helpful votes

“Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because it towered high and set its top among the clouds, and its heart was proud of its height, I will give it into the hand of a mighty one of the nations. He shall surely deal with it as its wickedness deserves. I have cast it out.

Jeremiah 29:1-32 ESV / 6 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. ...

Ecclesiastes 5:10 ESV / 6 helpful votes

He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.

Proverbs 16:1-33 ESV / 6 helpful votes

The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. ...

Psalm 131:1-2 ESV / 6 helpful votes

A Song of Ascents. Of David. O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Psalm 49:11-13 ESV / 6 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

Esther 5:9-13 ESV / 6 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.”

James 3:18 ESV / 5 helpful votes

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

James 1:19-20 ESV / 5 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.

Hebrews 11:1-40 ESV / 5 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. ...

Mark 8:1-38 ESV / 5 helpful votes

In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.” And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?” And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” ...

Job 21:1-22:30 ESV / 5 helpful votes

Then Job answered and said: “Keep listening to my words, and let this be your comfort. Bear with me, and I will speak, and after I have spoken, mock on. As for me, is my complaint against man? Why should I not be impatient? Look at me and be appalled, and lay your hand over your mouth. ...

Job 20:5-9 ESV / 5 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 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.

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