Part of who I am is a competitive person. I think this can be an incredibly healthy thing, but it can also be very difficult as well. Today, I will speak to the idea of being competitive as a negative, and tomorrow I will share more thoughts on how competition is beneficial for the church.
Competition can push us to try harder and be better. The difficult task is keeping your heart in check. When I get overly competitive and lose a competition I end up jealous of the other team. I get down on myself for what I’ve done wrong, and then I bust my butt to be better the next time. I learned this a lot in high school sports. Unfortunately, we never got that good at anything. Therefore, I kept working and getting jealous, and just kept failing. I learned many life lessons from these failures, but they also just forced be to be jealous of the winners.
In the church competition can drive us forward, but it can drive us equally backward. We can get jealous of a church or ministry that is more successful than ours. If we don’t take control of that envy it can lead to bitterness, and end up hardening our heart if we don’t take it back to Jesus. I have a lot of friends that have way more successful ministries than I do. I must confess that part of me is a little jealous and insecure wondering what am I doing that isn’t as good as them, but the other part of me says, “What can I learn from them.” This is why I hang out with leaders of different ministries as often as I can. If I maintain relationship with these guys, then I am not aloud to get jealous, bitter, and keeps me in a healthy place. Ultimately I want what is best for my community, and this world, and they may not always be through my ministry.
Another negative that competition can do to our heart is cause us to end up doing our jobs for the wrong reasons. My motivation for doing my best is to live out a life of worship, as noted in Colossians 3:23. When competition drives me on every level, I am motivated to “win”, instead of being motivated by worship for our Creator.
How has competition negatively effected your job or ministry?
How can competition help you be better at your job or ministry?