Competition brings out the best and the worst in us. There is nothing inherently evil or good in competition itself. Rather, it is our reaction to the competition or the way in which we compete. If you think for a moment: competition has greatly benefited our society. It is just amazing the results of competition. Just think of the Olympic athletes. I am old enough now to remember that twenty years ago there was some discussion that we had reached the peak of human potential and we weren’t going to be seeing new records being set. Well, twenty years later, now, it is just amazing. Athletes continue to excel. Better nutrition, better training, maybe a harder work ethic, all of that comes together—and the competition itself too—all of that comes together and we see world records dropping year by year because of competition.

Well, one of the negative aspects of competition is often seen in two reactions: first being one of superiority and arrogance. I am the best in all of the world! I achieved all this! Aren’t I wonderful? And, of course, often you can’t stand being around that kind of person. Even if you were able to win every competition you have been in and achieved everything in your life, Jesus talks about the emptiness of that. He says, “What does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose your own soul” (Mark 8:36)? Isn’t it interesting, we see often those that are the most successful have lives that appear to be the greatest wrecks and they appear to be the most miserable.

Well, the other reaction to competition, which is equally disastrous, is the person that doesn’t succeed and sees himself as a total failure. I will never amount to anything! Oh, it is terrible what has happened here. I am no good, I have no worth! All of that. Again, that is not a good reaction either. It leads to depression. It leads to destructive impulses and all of that. Neither reaction to competition is healthy.

So, I want to talk to you a little bit about healthy reactions to competition. You can find some discussion of this in the book of Galatians (in the Bible) chapter 6, verses 3-5. One healthy reaction to competition is looking at competition as being a step in improving yourself, improving your skills. Always seeing this as a process, rather than an end result, but a process. Another [good] reaction to competition is not comparing yourself to others, but instead looking to what your abilities are. What are your God given abilities, what can you do? How can you excel in them? How can you do the very best at what you are doing? It is [about] trying to achieve excellence. It is not about just achieving it for yourself, but a healthy view of competition is to achieve it for others as well. It is to benefit those around you as well as yourself.

Well, if you are interested in learning a little bit more about how my view of competition changed and the radical change that came in my life—and I hope the radical change that comes in your life—then please take a look at I hope that this has been helpful. God bless, bye.

2reed  For Christian Artists