I’m a very competitive person and that can be really bad. For example, I used to play in our church’s an annual flag football tournament. After a few years, I decided to remove myself from playing because I couldn’t find a way to compete with a friendly demeanor. So when Paul says in 1 Cor 9:24, “. . . , run in such as way as to win the prize, ” I would use this phrase to justify my poor behavior. Of course I took the verse out of context and this verse can often be misappropriated & rationalized to accommodate personal success rather than transformed redemption. But as followers of Jesus, winning the prize doesn’t align with the world’s definition of victory & success. Indeed, consider the recent Olympic illustration of “winning the prize”: running to win
Let’s enedeavor to be successful by the definition of following Jesus rather than letting our flesh or the world define success for us!
One of my daughter’s friends had a basketball game last night & we we able to go, watch & cheer. These kinds of games bring back lots of different memories for me because I used to coach both jr & sr high school girls basketball. I thoroughly enjoyed coaching, but was also too competitive & I lived in the shortcomings of being too competitive (rash words, impatience, self-centered & more). Last night, I found myself again being vocal & probably too competitive.
Do you ever have those areas in your life where you tend to struggle??? Here are some thoughts about how to deal with these areas:
avoidance – for years I never coached because I didn’t have the opportunity; now I think I didn’t coach because God knew that this weak spot can be a downfall for me
celebrate progress – over the last year, I’ve been around coaching a bit more. My celebration is that even though I’m not where I need to be, at least I’m not as bad as I was 🙂
accountability – last night I sat around some friends who would tell me to tone it down & I’m grateful for their help!
honesty – a problem that is ignored or downplayed won’t get better
be thankful – I’m grateful to God for helping me to grow, mature & become more like Christ through the power & presence of the Holy Spirit