I suspect we do a poor job distinguishing between the two types of ambition or recognizing the perversity of eritheia. Selfish ambition, at least to a certain degree, is not only an acceptable sin in our culture but a seemingly necessary one to succeed in the world. It may also be incentivized in a church culture caving into the temptation to elevate the public image of success above qualities like quiet and steady faithfulness in relative obscurity, a work-ethic rooted in giving and helping rather than getting and keeping, and a willingness to go without and sacrifice for the good of others.

We cannot esteem worldly success without neglecting godliness and overlooking spiritual maturity. Worldly success is not a bad thing, but it is not to be confused with being above reproach or enjoying a good reputation and it may indicate little more than selfish ambition–the disease of greatness. In ministers and congregations it may even dress itself in claims of kingdom growth, public witness, administrative acumen, evangelistic fruitfulness, entrepreneurial spirit, and so on. These are all highly desirable objects, but sin can twist each one into a pious-sounding cover for eritheia.

I suspect this is the primary root of most church conflict: There is selfish ambition which dresses itself up as something good and spiritual. Read the whole thing