Competition… lets talk about it!
Competition, what exactly is competition? Webster defines competition as “the act or process of trying to get or win something (such as a prize or higher level of success) that someone else is also trying to get or win : the act or process of competing. : actions that are done by people, companies, etc., that are competing against each other.”
Also, biblically it’s classified as a spirit.
Now that you have that information right smack dab in your face, let’s be honest… Are you a competitive person?
Do you find yourself performing or competing to win in all areas of your life?
Or maybe you’re just competitive when it comes to the family game night?
When competition is not okay…
Competition has no place in relationships
Competition can be useful and fulfilling in situations where you are competing against your former self. I truly believe that competition has no place in relationships. As we read in the definition of competition, the act of competing essentially has a victor and a loser and is practiced in superficial environments. In relationships, you can’t say that you love someone, care about their well being, and at the same time are secretly or blatantly competing with them. If I love you, I want you to win. Not only do I want you to win, I want us to win together.
*More on this in a separate blog post coming soon*
Is Competition Biblical?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not a perfect person but, I am a progressing person. Do I have a competitive side, absolutely. But, I don’t find it necessary to compete with people in areas that contradict my beliefs. For example, the Bible says (YES THE BIBLE! I told you, Jesus is in the VIP section of this party.) in Philippians 2:3-4“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” The Bible literally tells that we are to consider others more significant than ourselves. So when I see people operate in the spirit of competition it’s as if they are boasting about themselves. The Bible also considers this to be vanity and striving after the wind as described in Ephesians 2:22-26.
When is competition healthy?
We all know that some competition is healthy. Competition can be useful and fulfilling in situations where you are competing against your former self. For example if you are working on your time management because you are always late and want to change that habit. Let’s say you usually arrive to work at 6:55a, but, you want to strive for 6:30a the rest of the week. That is healthy competition, as the focus is on operating in excellence. You are focused on YOUR race, based on what you know is your best effort. You aren’t comparing yourself to your coworkers, or trying to win the acknowledgement and validation of others.
This is a good place to be emotionally and spiritually.
The only time I genuinely tap into that competitive spirit is when I play Mancala. I have been ten toes down, ready to demolish any and everyone, when I play Mancala!
If you don’t know what Mancala is, it would suffice to say your childhood was not, in fact, lit.
I mean my strategy, and execution are always on point. I will hurt your feelings about a game of Mancala and will NOT feel sorry about it. If you even think about taking one or more of my marbles I’m going in with no hesitation, no Vaseline!
Can you sense the nostril flare happening here?
Competition is about defeat, or punishment. You develop a “I HAVE to beat you to win” mentality. But, when the game is over, so is the competition.
Olympic sport player usually talk about how they have laser sharp focus or a competitive spirit, again when playing a game the intent is to win and be the best.
Competition is healthy in this sense because, nobody plays a game, sport, or anything to lose. The competition is welcomed and expected.
Because I can operate in that competitive spirit so heavily when playing that game I can clearly identify it when interacting with people who operate in that spirit during day to day life. Did you catch that? It’s easy to point out what you identify with…
It’s easy to point out what you identify with…
Competition and the competitive spirit is literally EVERYWHERE…
At social gatherings
On social media
…It’s exhausting and you can almost always see a glimmer of the “nose flare” when interacting with the spirit of competition, or someone who is extremely competitive.
Because so many people are chasing the hype, the accolades, the constant non stop pursuit of glory (that doesn’t even belong to them) they plan, plot, and scheme their way into rooms, and atmospheres that God never called them to be in and now have to maintain. (*insert face palm*)
All for the sake of competition, in order to scale the ladder and reach the imaginative height that they believe will get them the most glory.
Competition is a symptom of PRIDE and usually accompanied by the spirit of perfectionist, people pleasing, slander, betrayal, planning, plotting and scheming… it’s insane and all connected to competition. Working out of your own strength because when you are not aligned with what God has for you… you seek to do it yourself.
With misplaced competition you have to work harder than everyone else. You have to steal ideas, identities. Mimic the presence of those who excel without effort because that spirit is driving you to be better than the best to get to and attain YOUR glory.
Misplaced competition, it’s a vicious cycle… Break the cycle. I recently read a tweet by @KortlynnJenae that said “stop plotting, align instead” and it was so simple, yet profound so much so, that in that very moment that I just did a crazy hand motion.
You know something like Chandler on Friends would do when the solution is obvious but people are being moronic.
Yeah, that one.
But the solution really is that simple. Align with the will and purpose God has for YOUR life and you wont have to constantly be in a cycle of misplaced competition. There is no traffic in your own lane. Will you need to work, and work hard? ABSOLUTELY! But, you wont have to plan, plot or scheme to get what has already been declared as yours.
Let me known in the comments if this sparked some thoughts for you!