Sunday, June 30, 2013

10 Reasons Why a Competitive Spirit is Destructive

Summer brings wonderful opportunities to enjoy the outdoors with friends, taking in a plethora of games and physical activities. This post could cost me precious friendships--including my own. All aboard who're ready to ride.

10 Reasons Why a Competitive Spirit is Destructive:

1. Winning for the sake of winning benefits no one but the winner(s).

What God’s Word says:  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God... and they are full of greed. (Eph. 4:15-19)

2. If winning is the goal, either outcome (win/loss) leads to sinful thoughts, attitudes and behaviors.

What God’s Word says:  So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31)

3. A competitive spirit stirs up sinful thoughts, attitudes and behaviors in others.

What God’s Word says:  By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1 John 3:16 NKJV)

4. A competitive spirit breeds pride, contempt and criticism.

What God’s Word says:  Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens.
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the Lord our God, Until He has mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us! For we are exceedingly filled with contempt.
Our soul is exceedingly filled With the scorn of those who are at ease, With the contempt of the proud. (Psalm 123 NKJV)

5. Making "my best" top priority means my focus, time, effort and resources are self-centered.

What God’s Word says:  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus... (Phil 2:3-5 NASB)

6. A competitive spirit hurts others.

What God’s Word says:  What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures (James 4:1-3 NASB).

7. A competitive spirit is demanding.

What God’s Word says: O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me.

Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me. (Psalm 131:1-2  NASB)

8. A competitive spirit is more focused on results than people.

What God’s Word says: Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers... The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."  (John 10:7-11 NIV)

9. A person full of the desire to win, be the best or be right does not truly love others.

What God’s Word says: ...knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God. (1 Cor. 8:1-3)

10. Preening a competitive spirit leads to confusion of priorities, foolish choices and loss of reward.

What God’s Word says: But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. (James 3:14-16 NIV)

But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. (1 Cor. 3:10-13 NIV)

 God help us! We are a people driven by pride, self-seeking, boastful in and of ourselves. How grateful we should be that God is different--and that He is committed to changing us!

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