Picture it: family game night. What are you playing? Monopoly? Clue? Chess? Poker?
Whatever your game of choice, I’ll bet the night is a lot more fun when everyone tries their best to win. Sure, no one likes an obnoxiously competitive opponent — but if we’re being honest with ourselves, it’s actually more annoying to face off with someone who just doesn’t care. A little competition gives the activity a pulse. It keeps everyone interested. It speaks to the worthiness of the endeavor.
We are told to “compete well for the faith.” These are confusing words, perhaps, since cutthroat competition doesn’t jive with the spiritual ideals of submission and humility. So why is God asking this of us? He isn’t setting up some kind of cosmic contest to reward the smartest, strongest, and fastest among us with His mercy and grace.
Competition doesn’t have to mean aggressive self-interest. It doesn’t have to mean ferocity and lack of principle. Competition can — and should — mean witness. Think of the Olympics. There’s a competition that isn’t a conquest or a performance but rather a testimony — a feat of strength! A celebration of ability, hard work, and effort. Does anything glorify God more than that?
Let’s strive to be competitive, but with the competitive nature of an everyday steward: that which seeks the good of all running the race.
— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS