I come from a very competitive family. As a child monopoly was ban from our house due to all our yelling, fighting and crying among my siblings and I. Further no one goes very far in the sport of gymnastics without a good amount of competitiveness. It is written in my genes and further developed by my upbringing. Although my husband is not as competitive as me, I would still call him a competitive person. He comes from a culture that preaches pride in competition and success.
These tendencies show up in various areas of our life. Sometime we even find ourselves competing among each other. We comely have to tell each other, it’s not a competition. A lot of our success in our careers has came from our competitive natures which motivates us to work hard and overcome obstacles.
I have asked God, is it ok to be competitive? The answer he has given me is complex. Put simply God has told me, “your competitive nature is not bad as long as you are playing for the right team.” If I am playing for team Jesus then my competitive nature will be used for the good of his kingdom. If I am playing for team self then my competitive nature is being used for the wrong goal. For we are called to fight to make Jesus’s name known and worshiped. If we are competing for ourselves or any other human we may need to check our hearts for our competitiveness has become sinful.
“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak.I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-27
So to all those who are competitive, may we stop and ask, God how can I compete for you? Amen