Healthy Leaders



Is Competition Wrong?

Healthy Leaders

Is Competition Wrong?

Tom RoyTom Roy

It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud. (Proverbs 16:19)

To me, there is nothing like the tension of a 3-2 pitch late in a Major League Baseball contest or a 4th and long play near the end of a big football game. Competitive juices flow as these world-class athletes reach deep to win games. The competitive spirit and the desire to win is part of the DNA of an athlete.

Unfortunately, that same sense of competition often overflows into our personal lives. I am not saying competition is wrong. There are many situations where competitiveness can be healthy and productive, such as in athletics and business. It can push us toward excellence in our work. But for those who are followers of Jesus, the competitive spirit needs to be turned down in relationships.

What I am talking about is being competitive with others for self-interest or self-promotion. It might show up as slandering someone to make ourselves look better or manipulating others to gain a better position. Jesus is pretty clear on how his followers are to interact with others. He set the example by taking on the profile of meekness, that of a servant.

Check out this definition of meekness: strength under control. A few synonyms for “meek” are patient, yielding, unassuming, peaceful, calm, or soft.

It may be time for us to examine our competitive spirits and see if they have affected our relationships in an ungodly way. Do we reflect the attitude of Jesus while we are at work, in our marriages, or in our spiritual journey?

Here are a few verses for meditation:

You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians. 2:3-4)

Pause and Reflect:

Where have you expressed an unhealthy competitive motivation in your daily life? Recall two or three glaring examples and pray that God would transform your heart so that you reflect the humility and servanthood of Christ.

– LeaderSource SGA