Jealousy and Ambition

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

The man we know as “Caracalla” was born on this day in 188 AD in Lyon, France. This actually was a nickname, taken from a type of cloak popularized by the emperor. Caracalla became immersed in politics after his father became Roman Emperor in 193. In 196, he was proclaimed the designated heir and joined his father as co-ruler.

Throughout his youth, Caracalla developed a rivalry with his younger brother, Geta. When their father died, the brothers became joint emperors and the rivalry intensified. Unwilling to share power, Caracalla had his brother murdered and ordered his body burned. But instead of consolidating power, this created many enemies.

Caracalla then purged all who opposed Geta’s murder, resulting in a massive slaughter. Relentlessly self-centered, he even abolished the observance of his brother’s birthday.

In an effort to win popular support, he announced a new law that all free men in the empire were citizens. While this guaranteed rights for more people, it also paved the way for increased tax revenues.

In April 217, Caracalla was killed by one of his own bodyguards. He had ruled for only six years and died when he was just 29. Today he is regarded as one of Rome’s most bloodthirsty tyrants.

Through his life, we see the horrible consequences and pain caused by jealousy and rivalry. The Bible warns us to be on guard against this kind of jealousy, arrogance, and selfish ambition—for the impact is poisonous, subtle, and dangerous.

In your life, remember that God’s wisdom “is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits” (vs. 17-18). Serve HIM instead of your own ambitions. Be controlled by His Spirit.