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Battle Creek, MI
5 Stars Out Of 5
December 5, 2013
Battle Creek, MI
I recently finished reading Finding Your Heart's Desire: Ambition, Motivation and True Success by R.T. Kendall. What an inspiring book! I had never heard of R.T. Kendall before, but I certainly know him now! R.T. is a very godly man with many words of wisdom to impart on his readers. I found his testimony and struggle with ungodly ambition to resonate deeply within me. He has a way of writing that keeps your attention while still staying relevant to the topic at hand. Being a young person in this day and age, that is not an easy feat! Some thoughts that really connected with me were his thoughts on striving not for earthly glory, but for the glory of God. Also, being the anxious person that I am, I found that many of the topics discussed hit home. All in all, I will definitely be recommending this book to any Christ-follower! Especially those of us who struggle with perfectionism! I received this book through the Goodreads "First Reads" program.
With warmth, humor and candor, beloved pastor and author R. T. Kendall explores the life-changing concept that ambition might actually be a gift in his new book, Finding Your Heart's Desire. Using eye-opening biblical insight, Kendall reveals that ambitionâ€”often considered by Christians as a negative qualityâ€”is, in fact, one of the main ways God motivates His children to do His will.
In his book, "Finding Your Heart's Desire", R.T. Kendall asks/answers such questions as 'Is it wrong to be ambitious? to want to succeed? to strive for earthly significance? He balances these questions and more w/Godly wisdom and principles from His Word, giving the reader practical insights as to the struggles we all face in the area of motives. His main message is to stop seeking the applause of man and start living for the glory of God. (edited to say that this book was not quite what I expected from the title).
I received this book from Bethany House/Chosen Books for free in exchange for an honest review.
Ambition, the desire to achieve. It is Kendall's thesis that God often uses ambition to motivate us to do what He calls us to do. God often appeals to our self-interest, he writes. He also realizes that the trait has been tainted by the fall and needs to be upgraded to the motivation of wanting to please God alone. Our motivation must be developed so that it becomes God oriented instead of toward self-interest.
"God knows how to secure the response He wants in us. He has a thousand ways to do it." (60) He knows us best and knows how to get our attention - how to motivate us. "It is not a sin to be ambitious," Kendall writes. "Ambition becomes sinful when it is not subservient to a love for the honor of God." (73) We are to lay aside all ambition except to please our heavenly Father.
He shows how our ambition should be channeled in one direction - to glorify God. He relates ambition to the gifts of the Spirit (Kendall teaches that the gifts of the Spirit are active today), and the fruit of the Spirit. He looks at the ambition of various Bible characters.
He also looks at selfish (unsanctified or carnal) ambition in biblical characters and the damage it caused then and what it causes now. And one can have too much ambition, even spiritually. Kendall says that is his problem, that he missed his children growing up, etc.
Kendall looks at Ananias and Sapphira and then explores the wrath of God (not eternal punishment but a severe chastening from God). This was hard reading, that God would bring about judgment on people during their lifetime (not having to do with their salvation, however).
I found it interesting that Kendall says a person either has ambition or not. (148) It cannot be taught. So ambition is something God uses - but only if you have it.
Kendall ends with this admonition: "Make it your ambition, then, to excel in your love for His glory." (179)
Kendall's book is also biographical as he tells on himself quite a bit throughout this work. He also uses the background of the 2012 London Olympics, an event going on while he was writing this book.
This is a good book for a person to read who has great ambition, whether it be ambition for worldly success or in a spiritual endeavor. This book will give one a great deal to think about. As Kendall says, not everyone has great ambition. Those readers many not find much of interest in this book.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.