Happy Super Bowl Sunday Friends!
In honor of the Super Bowl, today’s post is about competition. If you know my family or me, it’s no secret that we are competitive people. Growing up, it was a common occurrence that a simple backyard kickball game with my cousins became a brawl or a fight from the losing team about an unfair call or unfair teams. Thankfully as we’ve all grown up, we have a much more mature grasp on our tendency to turn everything into a competition, but as I’ve grown, I also have come to believe that a competition is not always bad. Competition often is paired with a negative connotation; however, competition is not bad if it fuels us to be the very best version of ourselves everyday.
As I said, often my cousins and I would end backyard sports games in an uproar because the losing team never liked to lose. Of course, no one likes to lose, but we had not matured to understand that the outcome is not what matters most. At the end of the day, it did not matter who won the kickball game. Today, I do not remember if I was on the winning or losing team of the kickball games, but I look fondly on the memories we made playing the game. If a win is all we are after, our competitive nature can be a negative and can crush us. Our identity should not be in whether we win or lose.
While focusing only on outcome can be a negative, the act of pushing ourselves to get better is a positive aspect of competition. An important characteristic of the workout class I attend is that I can tailor the activity level to work for what is best for me. My first class looked different than my current classes after almost 3 years of doing this workout. Each class I push myself to do a little better than the class before. I use my competitive mindset to improve from my times from the class before. It is a competition against myself. This is a healthy competition. It is not about what the results of class are, but just that I competed to the best of my ability. This is a positive competition to improve and be the best version of myself.
In Philippians 3:13-14, Paul writes, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). Paul is telling us to continue to pursue the dreams and goals for which God has called us. He encourages us through a competitive analogy to strive to be better than who you were the day before. Everyday I try to be the best version of myself, and regardless of the outcome, I can say that I choose to compete and I choose to press towards my goal of being the best for the Lord. But, I also realize, that I can never be my best unless I stay in relationship with the One who made me and calls me by name, the Lord.
I am praying for you all this week and that a competitive spark in you pushes you to be the very best version of yourself everyday through the growth of your relationship with the Lord!