Does God honor competition?

 

When we strive for excellence and follow God's unique plan for our lives, we always win.

Beating the competition has become an intrinsic part of modern business. Discovering the methodology and strategy of our competitors consumes much of our time and greatly influences our decision-making process.

Seek God's Best

While the Scriptures enjoin us to gather as much information as possible, they never suggest that one party is to experience gain or profit at the expense of another. Rather, the focus of biblical truth consistently zooms in on whether we are exercising wisdom and diligence in seeking God's best for our own endeavors.

An interesting account in the life of Moses reveals God's viewpoint on competition. The Spirit of God had caused seventy of Moses' ruling elders to prophesy. Two men who remained behind also began to speak prophetically in the camp. Moses' assistant Joshua, sought to silence their message, fearing they would rival Moses' leadership.

Moses responded, "Oh, that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!" (Numbers 11:29). Moses wasn't threatened. He didn't become envious or jealous, because he knew that his responsibility was to obey God's instructions. How the Spirit moved in the lives of others was up to the Almighty. In fact, he wished them only the best.

The apostle Paul further illustrates that perspective. "Do you not know that those who run in a race all but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things" (1 Corinthians 9:24, 25).

How to Measure Success

God's emphasis is not on overcoming or outsmarting our competitors but on the development of our own zeal, perseverance, and vision. The race is not against other contenders but against ourselves. The measure of our success is not the margin of victory over our rivals, but how well we did compared to how well we could have done.

Our emphasis, therefore, is on performing to the measure of our personal capabilities, on exercising discernment, discipline, and steadfastness in achieving the goals we believe God has set for us in our personal sphere of influence. This is the prize that Paul holds before us.

Paul was supremely interested in achieving God's unique objectives for his life. That's why he could tell the Corinthians he wasn't in the least interested in boasting "in another man's sphere of accomplishment" (2 Corinthians 10:16).

Competition is a universal phenomenon. It encompasses school, sports, businesses, politics, and personal relationships. But by riveting our attention exclusively on God's will for our lives and making full use of our talents and gifts, we can find rich fulfillment without the strife and stress that come from engaging in unnecessary competition.

We eventually succeed when we adorn our labor with excellence and are fully committed to glorifying God by our lives.

For further insights, read the following passages:
Matthew 25:14-30
Philippians 3:12-14
Hebrews 12:1-2
1 Peter 1:13-20
1 Peter 4:10-11

 

This material taken from "PRIORITY PROFILES for Today's Workplace"
Copyright © 1989 by Charles F. Stanley
IN TOUCH MINISTRIES®, ITM, Inc.All rights reserved. Used with Permission