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Is it unchristian to compete?

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To compete is to prove us superior to others, or try to put our selves ahead of others. So that when we compete, we feel that we are either superior to others, or that we want to become superior to others and get ahead of them.

Some people may say that certain types of competitions are healthy, because, they increase our skills or encourage team spirit. However, the fact remains that in competitions we put our selves or our own ahead of others. This is contrary to Christian teachings. Jesus tells us to be servants of others (Mark 10:44), instead of putting ourselves ahead of others. He also tells us that we should seek the Kingdom of God, rather than worry about our food or clothing (Matt 6: 31-34). The early Christians followed these teachings and (Acts 4:34, 35) shared all their belonging with others, so that on one lacked their basic needs.
Jesus tells us to keep it a secret when we do good acts (Matt. 6:6); love our enemy; give and expect nothing in return; if some one borrows something from us, don’t ask it back; forgive others unceasingly; if someone takes our shirt give them our jacket as well and if someone slaps us on one cheek offer the other (Luke 6:27-36). He also tells us that the last shall be first and the first shall be last (Mark 9:33; 10:35-45)

Paul tells us “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than himself. Look not every man to his own things, but every man also to the things of others” (Phil 2:3-4). He tells us to be devoted to one another in brotherly love and honor others above our selves (Gal. 6:4). He also tells us to keep away from strife (Phi.2: 3; Rom. 13:13; 1Cor. 3:3; Gal 5:20, 21); which is opposing, battling or competing with others.

Competition makes us proud, selfish, jealous, angry, revengeful and hateful. These lead us to destruction (Pro. 16:18); because, they take us away from God. We must remember, that, we cannot serve two masters, we can either serve God or we can serve mammon (Matt. 6:24). If we love God, we will excel in our work, not because, we want to get ahead of others, but because, we care about others. When we use competition to improve job performance we increase selfishness in the world.

Ephesians 6:12
For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.

We should ideally compete with the devil and demons, to beat them, not each other. For Christ is in each of us.

Hebrew 10:24
We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.
 
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I agree on both sides, healthy and selfish.

In the business sense it is healthy to compete. It is not healthy to be greedy and prideful about your product and/or services. Competition is good to encourage one and his/her team to do better, more or so to compete within themselves to beat their own goal, their own accomplisments and reach new heights. The end user gains the good service and the company succeeds. Other competitors are encouraged the same.

Competition should not insult the competitors, that's plain dumb and childish - secular. I do believe that building each other up is the proper way - after all, that comes straight from GOD's commandments. A beautiful one indeed. I don't think its ethical to kick and insult other competitors, to mock their products or people in anyway. I think its best to simply put your all out effort to make and market your own without spending a dime of time to hurt others' products/services.
 
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The bible teaches us that it was and still is Gods plan for man to rule over all the other things in the earth . Combining this standard with our fallen nature is a long distance in between ! When man fell in the Garden , he lost his orderly position of authority given to him by the Father , but he did not lose his nature to to be in the same authority .

But when man sinned , he lowered himself to the level of all the other forms of creation . I agree with arunangelo in the fact that competition , combined with our carnal nature , can lead to all the ungodly facts he stated in his thread . But I also agree with Chad based on the scripture that tell's us that when we do anything in our live's , we should do it with our best attempt , like we are working [ or competing ] as unto the Lord .

But the facts still remain that in our working , we can at times run ahead of Gods timing for our achievements he planned for us , and become very carnal and cunning in our attempt to regain the rightful authority that our Father intended for us to walk in from the beginning .

This is the battle we as Christians face everyday . Only the transformation of our nature , through the renewing of our mind's with the word of God , and the leading of the Holy Spirit , will we ever walk in the proper balance .

Thank you for this very good thread ! May God's grace and Spirit guide us in all we do at talkjesus , and in our everyday live's . Mike
 
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To compete is to prove us superior to others, or try to put our selves ahead of others. So that when we compete, we feel that we are either superior to others, or that we want to become superior to others and get ahead of them.

Some people may say that certain types of competitions are healthy, because, they increase our skills or encourage team spirit. However, the fact remains that in competitions we put our selves or our own ahead of others.
You've started an interesting subject, that I wish people reviewed more often.

I don't know that I agree with the statement by you as quoted. Surely, in professional sports (which reflects general attitudes on the matter in our society), that is the attitude being cultivated, but it wasn't always that way--in the old days, there was a thing called "sportmanship" that had an entirely different approach. There can be honest competition that still puts the other person first, but where its true value is recognized.

I note you use a name that could be considered of Latin influence. In a Latin culture your position makes perfect sense. I live in both cultures, and so, I think about this issue a lot, and which is more Christian, to have a cooperative or competitive orientation. However, just because the American sense of competition is not Christian presently, that does not mean that competition is always unChristian. And, we should not overlook the merits of competition when it is done right, or in a Christian way. If competition done in a Christian manner creates the greatest good for all people in society, that would please God, and the benefits should be duely noted. However, our American society could learn quite a bit from the cooperative emphasis of the Latin culture.

Paul
 
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It is un-Christian to compete, but it is Christian to put 100% effort into everything you undertake, for the glory of God.

We are not here to beat someone we are here to shine for God.

All Praise The Ancient Of Days
 
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Adstar said:
It is un-Christian to compete, but it is Christian to put 100% effort into everything you undertake, for the glory of God.

We are not here to beat someone we are here to shine for God.

All Praise The Ancient Of Days
Amen! and to add to this, when were are competing, in a sense we are comparing or being compared to the other competitors, we as Christians are to compare or be compared to Christ. Anything else, we are simply missing the mark. We should only wear one Hat, we should be a Christian no matter what we are doing. There is so much competition going on even in the church, but it's origin is strictly carnal( a work of the flesh). Jesus taught about this very thing. I think I posted an article I wrote on this topic a while back but I will repost it again here.

The dangers of competitiveness and self-importance.

About this time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Which of us is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

Jesus called a small child over to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I assure you, unless you turn from your sins and become as little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.


Matthew 18:1-5

Jesus makes a very powerful and bold statement in this Scripture. Let’s open our hearts so we might receive revelation from the Holy Spirit on an important lesson here. The first thing I want to point out is that the disciples assumed that they were already part of the Kingdom of Heaven. “ Which of us is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” They made this assumption because Jesus had selected, or called them to be His disciples. But if we look at Jesus’ response we will clearly see that their assumption was wrong. Jesus, after setting a young child in their midst replied, “I assure you, unless you turn from your sins and become as a little child, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.” So, according to Jesus, they had not entered the Kingdom. Likewise, we should be very careful not to make assumptions based upon our own knowledge, especially where our eternity is concerned. Instead let the Holy Spirit bear witness before we believe it. We see too, that Jesus called their competitiveness and self-importance sin and He required repentance in order to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. When teammates compete against each other rather than work together, it can cost the team the victory. When a person tries to prove himself important to a group or team, it is usually done by failing to participate, the hope is that the mission will fail and cause the rest of the group to recognize the importance of the one. This why Jesus told the disciples they could not enter the Kingdom of Heaven with this attitude.

Another point to be made is that Jesus was not just giving His opinion here, but He was making a declaration, giving His word, or promising something when He said “I assure you,”. To put it another way Jesus is saying you can take it to the bank. And our opinion does not change anything either, the King of the Kingdom has declared unless you do as prescribed here, you will never enter His Kingdom.

Now let’s look at the answer Jesus gave to His disciples concerning their question “Which of us is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus said, “ Therefore, anyone who becomes humble as this little child is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Notice that here is another promise not just for the disciples at that time, but for anyone. Consider this, the recorded works of the twelve disciples (who later became apostles) doesn’t compare to the number of recorded works of Paul,” the least of the apostles.” Do you see the correlation here between the least and the greatest. So there is no misunderstanding let me add that the works referred to here are the works of the Holy Spirit done through the apostles. A child's abilities do not normally compare with an adult’s. So I don’t think that abilities, talents, or gifts are a consideration for greatness in the Kingdom of Heaven. The child’s inabilities however cause the very things that are a consideration for greatness. A child’s inabilities cause him to be dependent on a parent or guardian. Out of this dependency comes trust and from trust comes obedience. Greatness in the Kingdom of Heaven is determined by our dependency, trust, and obedience to our Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

In the last part of this text, Jesus said, “ And anyone who welcomes a little child like this, on my behalf is welcoming me.” This statement is more than just a comparison or parable , it is also literal. When we meet the needs of children and show them love in the name of Jesus , we are also allowed to entertain, or have audience with, Jesus Christ, Lord of lords and King of Kings.
 
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What would Jesus do?

The scribes and Pharisees competed against Jesus but Jesus didn't compete against them.

This has a good moral to it and that is it highlights the fact that we should always be mindful for what is of God instead of focusing on what is not other wise we may not hear or see the truth about someone or something.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phil 4:8

Attitudes of our hearts has much to do about everything.

But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Rom. 2:29




Thanks for posting arunangelo, your brother in Christ JESUS, Our LORD and Savior, Yeshua :boy_hug:

arunangelo said:
To compete is to prove us superior to others, or try to put our selves ahead of others. So that when we compete, we feel that we are either superior to others, or that we want to become superior to others and get ahead of them.

Some people may say that certain types of competitions are healthy, because, they increase our skills or encourage team spirit. However, the fact remains that in competitions we put our selves or our own ahead of others. This is contrary to Christian teachings. Jesus tells us to be servants of others (Mark 10:44), instead of putting ourselves ahead of others. He also tells us that we should seek the Kingdom of God, rather than worry about our food or clothing (Matt 6: 31-34). The early Christians followed these teachings and (Acts 4:34, 35) shared all their belonging with others, so that on one lacked their basic needs.
Jesus tells us to keep it a secret when we do good acts (Matt. 6:6); love our enemy; give and expect nothing in return; if some one borrows something from us, don’t ask it back; forgive others unceasingly; if someone takes our shirt give them our jacket as well and if someone slaps us on one cheek offer the other (Luke 6:27-36). He also tells us that the last shall be first and the first shall be last (Mark 9:33; 10:35-45)

Paul tells us “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than himself. Look not every man to his own things, but every man also to the things of others” (Phil 2:3-4). He tells us to be devoted to one another in brotherly love and honor others above our selves (Gal. 6:4). He also tells us to keep away from strife (Phi.2: 3; Rom. 13:13; 1Cor. 3:3; Gal 5:20, 21); which is opposing, battling or competing with others.

Competition makes us proud, selfish, jealous, angry, revengeful and hateful. These lead us to destruction (Pro. 16:18); because, they take us away from God. We must remember, that, we cannot serve two masters, we can either serve God or we can serve mammon (Matt. 6:24). If we love God, we will excel in our work, not because, we want to get ahead of others, but because, we care about others. When we use competition to improve job performance we increase selfishness in the world.

Ephesians 6:12
For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.

We should ideally compete with the devil and demons, to beat them, not each other. For Christ is in each of us.

Hebrew 10:24
We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.
 
Member
I'm not certain what the other posters are saying in this thread. All competition is bad?? Is there no distinction between "healthy competition" (to use a common phrase in our culture) and "unhealthy competition?" If not, should I believe that playing chess is a sin?? That's an important quesiton, because I just got some chess competition software. Is playing chess against a computer program a sin??

(Hmm--I hope the next thread isn't on square dancing).

Paul
 
Member
M Paul said:
I'm not certain what the other posters are saying in this thread. All competition is bad?? Is there no distinction between "healthy competition" (to use a common phrase in our culture) and "unhealthy competition?" If not, should I believe that playing chess is a sin?? That's an important quesiton, because I just got some chess competition software. Is playing chess against a computer program a sin??

(Hmm--I hope the next thread isn't on square dancing).

Paul
not saying it is a sin just saying it is carnal thats all.
 
Member
not saying it is a sin just saying it is carnal thats all.
So, what are you saying?? There is a distinction to "competition" between "unhealthy" and "carnal," but there is no "healthy" competition???

Eating is carnal, and it is also healthy, but some eating is not healthy, especially gluttony. There is a right way to eat and a wrong way to eat; however, would you say that in eating a person becomes less spiritual?? I agree that fasting is more spiritual, but I don't believe that a person who eats is less spiritual--necessarily. Are you saying that a person who participates in a competitive event is, no matter what sense of sportsmanship may be exercised, on a lower spiritual plane than someone who refrains--that the former is a type of lesser Christian?? Do you believe that because some of Christ's disciples competed with each other, this instance serves as a universal standard against all competition even at the level of atheletic events?? Could it have been merely an example of the wrong kind of competitive attitude, or of an improper attitude in ministry?? How do you make the distinction??

Actually, much good has come to our society from competition, and monopolies are usually found in dictatorships, and they almost never are considered beneficial to consumers. In fact, monopolies usually create hardships on people--that's why they are illegal in America. Learning a "healthy" competitive attitude in sporting events helps to make competition in general in society fair. However, I would object to learning a sick competitive attitude in sporting events. Lately, I should be doing a lot of objecting, but at times I do write letters to sports organizations.

Or, would you say that nothing good has ever come from competition, or if it did, it was still evil but under God's permissive will??

What if a non-Christian competes with me in business; trying to run me out of busness?? Is it ok to try to stay in business by making a better product at a lower price?? Is it ok for the customer to believe the result of the competition was good for the consumer?? Or, should I just let the other enterprise take over out of a sense of Christian charity?? What if the competitor is Christian, but they believe they have to run me out of business on moral grounds, because their organization and product are so much more beneficial to the consumer?? Can I try to put out a better product at a lower price then??

Are you saying that there is no such thing as a Christian way to compete, or that no human being can stand the test of being Christian while competing??

What is it that makes chess carnal?? If I think a winning combination of moves is artistic and acquire a sense of enjoyment out of seeing them in play, does that mean I'm conceited or something?? What if I do all I can to mainain the rules fairly and to see that the other player has every opportunity to become the best he or she can be?? What if I use chess tournaments to further the kingdom or to establish character and analytical ability in youth??

Actually, it's hard to avoid competition in life, (and in ministry). I wonder if it is possible that Christ's disciples had the wrong attitude, because they never learned the correct attitude in competitive situations as children, such as sporting events. Perhaps, if they had been encouraged to play in a church basketball program, they could have been taught the right attitude about being a team and competitive attitudes before they became adults.

Paul
 
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Member
Please don't misunderstand me, I am not condemning anyone. Just stating that somethings are of a spiritual nature and some of a carnal nature. We are not to compete with each other when it comes to reaching the mark of the highcall in Jesus Christ but rather help each other, we are suppose to be on the same team, aren't we?
Webster's unabridged dictionary
compete; to strive to outdo another for acknowledgment, a prize, supremacy, profit
 
Member
(Hmm--I hope the next thread isn't on square dancing).

LOL!!!! I hope the power of suggestion is a myth M Paul

I am trying so hard to behave here!
 
Member
Its about the spirit behind what you are doing.

I play sport for the joy of it and strive to do my best, to be the best i can. There is satisfaction in kicking the perfect ball in playing a great shot in enjoying a challenge. There is nothing wrong with this.

But if i play sport with the goal of proving to others who much superior to them i am or if i enjoy humiliating other people by beating them and rubbing it in with a few sarcastic words then that is the wrong spirit.

So i can play chess and enjoy the challenge and enjoy when i come up with a good move without any bad attitude toward the other player.

All Praise The Ancient Of Days
 
Member
I am trying so hard to behave here!
Jesus knows how hard you are trying, and he has a reward for you in heaven, in the section with the well behaved people. When you get it, try to remember to send me an e-mail about it. Use the name Coconut so I know who you are. I'll be in the section with the chess players most likely.

Paul
 
Member
Dear Arunangelo and M Paul,

I read His scriptures in your thread, Arunangelo, thank you. Please share why God put it in your heart to submit this? What is your message? You kind of disappeared and I am interested in knowing more.

M Paul, Where are you going with your posts? lol! Reel it in, brother, let it go and enjoy the fellowship!
:boy_hug: M Paul :girl_hug:

I grew up playing baseball as a child, teen, and young adult. I was a decent shortstop and pitcher. I gave up an 8 run lead in the bottom of the last inning. We lost. I played volleyball at the beach growing up in San Diego. I got slammed with a spike by a great female player who played varsity. I played wide receiver in football and got cut because I was not strong enough to endure the hits. At the end of these games I shook the hands of the winners and thanked my football coach for the opportunity to tryout.

I stayed focused on Jesus. Its ok to play to win. Praise God for sports! When we lost I developed humbleness and congratulated the winners. When we won we shook the hands of our losing opponents. It feels good to win, God knows this, and it should feel good. But we encouraged our opponents. Sports and good business builds character, the kind of character God expects of His children, amen?

The other younger players see our character and this inspires them. When we take this character off the field and apply it in our homes, church, schools, work, and the outside community, we become effective witnesses for our Father.

The same is applied to business. God knows we must compete to earn sales, followed by excellent customer service, and servanthood to our employees. Its ok. It feels good to prosper giving him all the glory. It feels good to prosper knowing you can pay your employees so they can take care of their families, amen?

The point is, when we follow Christ and not dwell on the real world "darkness" of sports and business, but instead focus on the Christian principles including His Word, then we are faithful to the conduct our Father expects of us and help make a difference for Jesus.

I hope this helps with the original thread. I read and meditated on the scriptures and this is the message God put in my heart to share with my brothers and sisters at Talk Jesus.

Your servant in Christ Jesus.
 
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jiggyfly said:
------ We are not to compete with each other when it comes to reaching the mark of the highcall in Jesus Christ but rather help each other, we are suppose to be on the same team, aren't we?
------

Jiggyfly

That s true I agree with you.
 
Member
Interesting discussion!

Seems like the generations have been reared to believe that competing is good. It's been weighing heavily on my heart for the last few years that maybe it isn't.

And aren't Christians glad that Jesus hung out with *losers* (the undesirables)? Don't we all feel some sort of satisfaction from knowing that the Pharisees - the biggest and brightest and flashiest of the religious; the *winners* - didn't impress Jesus at all? I, for one, am so thankful that he leveled the playing field so that we're all able to *win* with Christ!

We just finished VBS. I had a class of 1st-3rd graders. Great age group! Fun and bright and goofy and..... well, you get the idea. So we played a game of stickball. And even at that age they know the *rules* and take *playing* a game very seriously. Where did they learn that?
Was it from Christ? :confused:

Imagine their confusion when we changed the rules! We let those up to bat continue until they did get a hit - the stick just had to touch the ball. We let fouls count as a hit. We had no strikes. We swapped pitchers often. And when they got over the shock of the not being able to win or lose and just played for the fellowship of it, we had a wonderful time! We all laughed so hard.... And I didn't set out to deliberately make a point by doing that; that's just how it worked out when I saw that not all knew the *rules*. I have a son that's 6'2" tall so we also through some tackle football in on him. We couldn't let him get a run!

My illustration is simply to point out that there was no competition in the game and we all had a blast!
 
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Peanut,
What you wrote is beautiful. The way your kids play now (after the rules were changed) is the christian way. If all kids are taught to play in this fashion, there would be peace on earth.
 
Member
Thank you, arunangelo, for the kind words!

I also thought about:

And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?

But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
 
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