The danger of competition

We’ve all done it—compared ourselves to someone else, or compared our team to another band.

We’ve heard someone else play or we’ve seen a worship band on tour, and we’ve thought, we are better than they are, or, we are terrible compared to them. The results of that comparison are destructive.

If we think that we’re better than someone else, we can become arrogant. Arrogance keeps us from living a life that demonstrates humility and the selfless love of Jesus—what we are instructed by Him to do.

If we think that someone else is better than we are, we can become discouraged. That could lead us to feel like we want to quit, or to ask the question, “Why would God ever want to use me? I’m not as good as they are.”

If we think that we’re as good as the other team, but we envy them and wonder why they are famous or have more opportunities than we do, we will see ourselves in competition with them. That causes us to miss the point of working together as the Church—the Body of Christ.

The temptation to compare yourself to someone else is always there. Giving in to that temptation or those thoughts can indicate that you’re not sure that you should be where you are. You may feel in adequate either because you haven’t been able to increase your skills or because your type of talent isn’t the same as someone else’s.

We can be balanced in our perspective when we remember that we are not all called to be in the same church, and we aren’t all called to minister to the same types of congregations. God did not create us to be alike in musical style, personal temperament, or area of outreach. There is beauty in that difference.

We look at the lives of the apostles and see that they ministered in different areas with different people groups. They weren’t all called to be in Jerusalem at a church of 10,000. They went where God sent them and they did what He instructed to the best of their ability, which He then augmented by His power.

At the core foundation of our faith, we know that God united us as believers through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:11-22). He wants us to work together to demonstrate that unity. If we are comparing ourselves to others and becoming dissatisfied or arrogant, we are denying the work that God has done in us.

Unity is the opposite of competition.

Remember that we are united in Christ, and that every one of us has unique and important contributions to make. We are to “grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Ephesians 4:15-16 ESV

It’s God’s ministry, and He places us where we need to be so we can be the most effective on His behalf. If God has inspired you to be in a specific place at this time, then rest in that and allow your creativity to flow in that commitment. Enjoy being in the right place at the right time.

Appreciate what others can do, and thank God for the opportunity to be who you are where He places you. There can be intense satisfaction and joy in that.