A CHRISTIAN IN A COMPETITIVE WORLD
To get away from a bear, we don’t have to be the fastest runner in the world; we just have to be faster than the guy behind us. This is taken as truth by many. They say we should be one step ahead; recognize our strengths, know our opponents weaknesses and use that to our advantage. Why? Because it’s a competitive world. Win or be beaten. We find ourselves competing for the boss’ attention, that pay raise, our parents’ approval, or even winning someone’s heart. Whether we realize it or not, we always seem to be engaged in a contest.
To get away from a bear, we don’t have to be the fastest runner in the world; we just have to be faster than the guy behind us. This is taken as truth by many.
It is probably less so on a Sabbath morning when things are relaxed and restful, but when Monday morning arrives, it’s survival of the fittest. We get out of bed, dress for battle, and fight because only the strong survive. The question is, can we live like Christians in a competative world? The simple answer to this question is “Yes.” How then can we be both Christian and competitive in business, school or society? What in fact makes a “Christian businessman”, “Christian classmate”, or a “Christian athlete?”
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (1 Cor. 9:24-25, NIV).
Fixating our eyes solely on an earthly prize or on winning for now, will mean that we will do anything to achieve it. It is not necessarily wrong to 'win' or be 'a winner' as long as we always make certain that our heart and our desires are in line with God’s will. There is only one path to this though—a personal relationship with Christ. By putting everything into our running to receive an eternal prize, we are able to live and compete as Christians. So if using our talents and gifts to the best of our abilities is what determines if we can compete or not, then what is it that makes a competitor “Christian?”
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:8-9).
We have reached moral soundness when we don’t compromise our beliefs in anything we wish to gain; when we are able to retain the ‘wholeness’ of who we are no matter what we are going through."
Being skilled is only the beginning quality for a Christian competitor. A true Christian competitor aims to be like Jesus Christ. The verse in Philippians tells us to put into practice whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. In other words, we should live a life of integrity. As followers of God, we need to wholly commit to what we believe in—to “walk the talk.”
We have reached moral soundness when we don’t compromise our beliefs in anything we wish to gain; when we are able to retain the ‘wholeness’ of who we are no matter what we are going through. It’s when we can look at ourself in the mirror and say that we are proud of what we have done, how we have done it and what we have become – no matter what others may think. It’s when we can have an audience with God, and truly know that we have ‘let His will be done’. Who better to look up to than the man who had a mission and never strayed away from it? Jesus Christ is our example.
Maybe our colleague got the promotion, and our friend plays the piano better. Don’t fret. We should put heart and soul into what we are doing and always priortize our Saviour. It may be difficult to put God first when we’re surrounded by others whose values and beliefs are different from ours, but, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matt. 6:33).
Now run! Run in a way as to get the prize that will last forever.