Thursday, January 29, 2015

Competition IS a good thing

I recently encountered an attitude that really frustrated me.  I guess I should not be surprised in this day and age of changed curriculum and tolerance.  We are supposed to applaud everyone, and there are not winners or losers, right?!!?  Seriously, this type of thinking is so flawed.

You may be able to try to take this out of the classrooms, shelter your kids from the "pain", work to suppress the natural desire to succeed, or portray an attitude that you don't care, but why would you try to do this?

Competition is not only helpful, the American way and all that, but also a very Biblical principle.

1 Corinthians 9:24 ESV "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it."

The writer here is talking about a broader subject, but assumes as a universal principle that if you enter a race you do so to win.  You are "competing", it is a given.   Our very nature tells us to succeed and do our best.  It's part of life.

We are to strive to do our best.  The Bible tells us in 1 Cor. 10:31 ESV, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."  I've had this one up on my kitchen wall for years.  And yes, the writer was talking about food for idols, but the principle remains.  We are to strive to "glorify" God.  Does it really glorify God if we don't "run is such a way as to win?"

Got wants and expects our best.  No, we will not always "win", but if we strive for that we are constantly improving and "doing our best".  It's a principle I like to call Excellence.

It reminds me of the saying, "If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well."

But can we do things "excellently" apart from competition?  Sure, it's may be possible. But I have to tell you, if I know I'm bringing my Apple Pie to the fair for judging I am more careful that my crust looks perfect than if I'm serving it for Sunday dinner.  Maybe it's just me, but I seriously doubt it! 

I've seen it in teaching speech to students.  When it's just for a class the students are not as motivated to turn out an "excellent" speeches, but when they are required to give it at a competition their level of time and effort to do well goes up significantly.  

So PLEASE don't pretend you are not competing when you are, don't pretend you don't care, and certainly don't act like you are all spiritual for having these attitudes.  Most certainly please don't criticize others who are striving to win.  God does want us to run in such a way as to win, so go for it!

Iron does sharpen iron, so don't let yourself get rusty!  

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