In healthy levels, competition can be a good source of motivation. But when competition gets out of hand, it can become dangerous. We begin to compare ourselves to others and beat ourselves up if we don't get the highest grade on a science test, or score the most points in a basketball game. At times we get into "competitive mode" and cannot stop ourselves from pushing for first place. All we want to do is to win and we will do whatever it takes to cross the finish line first, to be better than our opponents. We push others out of the way with our competitive nature; we're full of pride and can mess up our relationships with our "whatever it takes" attitude.
We have to stop and remind ourselves that God made each one of us as a unique individual with special skills and talents. We don't have to be the best at everything, but we can try our best to be the person God created us to be.
If we can learn that healthy competition involves striving to be the best at whatever we do so that we lift up God's name, not ours. Psalm 115:1 says "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness." All the awards we win won't matter in the long run, but what we do to glorify God can make an eternal difference. When we compete with the attitude that we will do our best because we are children of God, we honor god. And when we realize that God has given us all of our talents, we can share our gifts with others and give God all the praise!
Ask your teen...
In what areas of your life do you feel competitive?
What abilities do you have in these areas?
Challenge your teen...
Next time you feel competitive, pause for a moment to consider how you can lift up God's name and share God's love rather than competing only for personal glory.
Lord, help us keep a humble spirit as we work and compete. Amen.