When does competition become a bad thing? - Competition - TouchPoints

When does competition become a bad thing?

2 Timothy 2:5Follow the Lord’s rules for doing his work, just as an athlete either follows the rules or is disqualified and wins no prize.

Competition can be unhealthy when it causes you to sin by trying to win at all costs. When winning is everything, you almost always compromise your integrity.

Genesis 4:4-8The Lord accepted Abel’s offering, but he did not accept Cain’s. This made Cain very angry and dejected . . . Later Cain suggested to his brother, Abel, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were together there, Cain attacked and killed his brother.

Competition can lead to jealousy, anger, and bitterness Cain let his gifts to God become a competition against his brother Abel. Instead of asking God what would make his gifts acceptable, Cain simply got angry and ended up killing his brother. If your sole focus is beating the one you are competing against rather than the larger goal of what you are trying to achieve.

Luke 18:11The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector!

The proud Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: “I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don’t sin, I don’t commit adultery.”

Competition can lead to you to compare yourself with others. The Pharisee in this story saw his whole religious life as a competition—to show himself to be more pious than anyone else. This is pride, and pride always leads to trouble.

Matthew 18:1-4About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Which of us is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” . . . Then [Jesus] said, “. . . Anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Competition can be a foothold for pride and jealousy because it often leads you to compare yourself with others. Everyone has equal worth in God’s eyes, and anytime you begin to think of yourself as more important or better than others, your competitive spirit is taking you in the wrong direction. When humility fuels your competitive nature, you give everything you have to doing your best, not besting others.

Numbers 12:1-2While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman. They said, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?” But the Lord heard them.

Competition disrupts not only your relationships with others but also your relationship with God if it causes you to think you are entitled to something you don’t have. Miriam and Aaron, who were also leaders during the Exodus, were jealous of their brother Moses and were competing for his leadership position. They had an inflated view of their abilities. If you feel you are “entitled” to something, your competitive attitude is already misguided. You are in danger of pride which leads to damaging important relationships.