I think that James might be one of my favorite books in the Bible. He certainly tells it like it is and there really can be no misunderstanding in his instructions. The problem is that he doesn’t make it easy to follow Christ.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. James 3:13-16
Of course I know what humility and selfish ambition look and feel like. It is a whole other matter to keep that selfish ambition and envy out of my heart, especially when I can seem to justify it when the results of my actions seem to benefit others. I have been blessed to have spent most of my career in the service of education and even in my current position most of my duties include teaching or guiding others. Although my teaching positions have been publicly defined, all of us at some time will influence someone by our actions. Let us remember that it is not by faith alone, but by faith guided actions that define us as Christians.
Dear Lord, Please help me to keep envy and ambition out of my heart as I work to serve You. Amen.