Philippians 2:3-4 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
During Homecoming week, the football game is nearly as big a deal to many kids as the homecoming dance. There are a variety emotions that surface when you compete. Competing in sports or in school or in band can be fun and challenging and rewarding. I think that there is something satisfying to training and then being able to see the results of your hard work show during competition. Competition, however, is not for everyone. Laird Hamilton, a legendary surfer whom some consider to one of the world’s greatest athletes, never competed in judged surfing competitions. In his mind, surfing is an art and not something to be judged. He was also, by his own admission, so competitive that he didn’t think he could handle losing. There is an old saying that says the the creative person is fulfilled by accomplishment, but the competitive person is fulfilled by beating others. Which one are you? Do you find satisfaction in doing your very best? Or do you find satisfaction in delivering a loss to someone else?
The Apostle Paul reminds the people living in Philippi that they should, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.” Instead, they should see the value of others even above themselves. I am not sure what exactly that looks like in completion, but I am pretty sure it would show itself in respect of the game, the rules, your opponents and your teammates. On the one hand, I am sure your school wants to win the big game. On the other hand, God reminds us that Christians bring value to this earth when we build each other up rather than squash them to the ground for our own gain. So, go compete, but do it in a way that lets your light shine as a child of God.
Heavenly Father, we are so thankful that you have given us healthy competition. Help us to be true sportsman as we seek to do our best and find joy in accomplishment rather than relishing the defeat of others. In Jesus’ name, who accomplished our salvation through his perfect performance. Amen