[I]n Christian circles today, you might hear people say with disdain about another person, “Boy, is he ambitious.” Ambition is categorized with sins like pride, jealousy, and lust. People who are ambitious can feed this comparison by being ruthless and cold-hearted.
But Scripture doesn’t command against ambition; it commands against selfish ambition. In the passage above (James 3:13-17), James juxtaposes selfish ambition with wisdom. If one wants to be wise, they must not have selfish ambition, jealousy, pride or falsehood, but rather purity, peacefulness, gentleness, etc.