30th August 2023
What does the Bible say about competition?
Competition is a prevalent activity around the world today.
When people think of competition, it is usually in the context of a sporting event; however, competition takes many other forms as well.
Competition takes place in both the physical and spiritual realms.
Competition is important for the believer if he is to have spiritual victory and faithfully follow Jesus
Jesus competed against Satan in the wilderness, and He defeated Satan with the Word of God. As believers, we fight for the souls of lost people by sharing the gospel with them, and we must compete with alternate worldviews to defeat false truth claims.
Some Christians claim that competition is bad because winning makes the loser feel bad.
They often refer to what Paul said,
"Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus"
However, we must also consider that Paul used competitive sporting events as illustrations for spiritual truths. He uses competitions among runners and boxers to illustrate the importance of spiritual discipline in one's life. It seems unlikely that the Holy Spirit would inspire the apostle Paul to use something sinful to illustrate how we should have discipline in our lives.
The most extreme form of competition is war.
In a battle people are competing for domination, and the consequences are the most severe because people die.
Jesus went to the cross to do battle against the effects of sin and death:
"He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death".
In the end we are told that Jesus, at His second coming, will defeat all His enemies:
As believers, we are told that we are more than conquerors in Jesus.
We are to tear down strongholds; we are to fight the good fight; and we are to put on the armour of God.
These are just a few verses that show us that we are in competition with "the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms"
While the Bible does not forbid competition, it does forbid the attitudes of heart that so many have when they do compete.
The Scripture is clear that we are to do 'all things' for God's glory.
"All things" must include competitions.
Eric Liddel, before serving as a missionary in China, ran in the 1924 Summer Olympics.
Liddel demonstrated the kind of attitude one should have when competing. He said,
"I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run I feel his pleasure."
The worst kind of competition is when people remain God's enemies by rejecting God's gift of salvation through Jesus.
Jesus went to the cross so we could be a part of His kingdom.
However, those who reject God's gift of forgiveness and eternal life will be defeated as His enemies and will spend eternity under His wrath.
God's desire is for you to repent and believe in Him so you can receive the gift of eternal life!
Un-edited version and Bible references avaiable, on request
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