How Ambition Destroys Discernment

I once saw a documentary on the Jim Jones episode which occurred some 30 years ago. What a horror story. The footage was remarkable. I didn’t know that there were recordings of Jones instructing those in his fold to “drink the Koolaid.” (It wasn’t exactly Koolaid.)

Jones was typical of leaders of his ilk. According to the experts who knew and studied him, he was highly gifted, charismatic (in personality), humorous, like-able, knew how to make people feel “important,” yet … an egomaniac, very insecure, fixated on his own importance, paranoid, easily jealous, a shameless self-promoter, corrupt and dishonest.

Not long after watching that program, I was informed that a person I know joined a movement that’s exclusive, sectarian, elitist, and marked by dishonesty, unmitigated arrogance, paranoia, jealousy, and the tearing down of others falsely. All leaving behind a long, long trail of hurt and devastated Christians. (I realize that this description fits many different movements, sadly.)

The interesting thing about it is that this person had been educated in the dangers of all of the above. And I’m aware of at least one person who warned him specifically. Yet still … he’s become a “true believer” of this movement. (I realize that this description fits many different people, sadly.)

“How does this happen?,” you might ask, as you shake your head in disbelief.

One major element in the mix is spiritual ambition. There are many “dreamers” who wish to become something for God which, in reality, they aren’t cut out for, called to, or are not ready for. Such benighted ambition blinds them to truth and honesty, and it smothers both their conscience and their discernment. Good judgment goes out the window … and so does integrity. It renders the person utterly “clueless” as to what’s really going on. And they aren’t in touch with any of this.

It’s both sad and fascinating to say the least.

A word of advice to the ambitious. Follow your conscience, never let your integrity be compromised, pay attention to the warning signs, and ultimately, throw away the calender and let God promote you. Have the attitude: If God doesn’t promote me then I won’t be promoted.

To put it in a sentence: decline the Koolaid when it’s being passed to you.


If you find this post helpful, you are free to ADD A LINK to it on your blog or website. But don’t copy and paste the post as this violates Google’s guidelines.

Subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss anything. It’s free. All Email Subscribers will receive my eBook Rethinking the Will of God (Revised) free. Also, if you are interested in setting up a new blog, click here. If you’re looking for a new hosting service or you want to buy a domain name, I recommend BlueHost, hands down.

About Frank Viola

See my About page. Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be "affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Google+

  • Randi

    “throw away the calendar & let God promote you”

    YES! amen.

    Like Joseph, God will use personalities that are “dreamers” to accomplish His will BUT only after those dreams of exaltation have been surrendered to Him and the dreamer has been stripped of all *self* confidence, self focus… and their own timetable & methods…. only then, will He be able to fully mold & use them as His clay.

  • Terry Jarbo

    I trust this has nothing to do with koolaid: TODAY & EVERY DAY Jesus and I are sharing this tent known as Terry Jarbo. WOW what a privildge and responsibility thus the need for GRACE & MERCY.

  • Steve K.

    Following on yesterday’s thought – this is a really good word for me today. I’m not in any danger of running out and joining a radical sectarian commune but as I find myself in middle age, at a crossroads in my career, and being led through an extended time of wilderness, it is really easy for me to jump out and pursue something foolish with the best of intentions. My spiritual growth throughout the last 5+ years has been remarkable and the relationship I now enjoy with Christ is what sustains me daily. Yet I am also a restless achiever who has a hard time saying no. Thank you Father, for speaking through Frank!! I know that God’s will for me isn’t in what I am to DO next, it’s in who I am to BE. And it’s in who I AM, that what He has laid out for me will be done!!