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Competition has become the norm for the American way of life. Up to 75 percent of passing-the-time-of-day conversation usually is centered around the daily sports page or local sporting events.

In some families, the members are competing somewhere every day or night in the week.

In no way do I intend to raise the pen against enjoyable competition that is usually centered around good fellowship—the playing of parlor games, electronic or mechanical. These are generally beneficial, even to raising healthy minded children.

What I do intend to point out is the wrong that is caused and promoted by the form of competition fostered in the average school, college, and home. Believe it or not, it's spilling over into church life.

Watching What Could Have Been…
What are 100,000 fans doing as they sit on a cold, wintry, rainy day, watching their favorite team play? As they sit in the stands, what to they see on the field? Do they see a big lineman trying to put the quarterback out of the game, or a fleet halfback scoring a touchdown?

No, they see themselves as the hero. Their security and identity is vicariously transferred to another who is strong, fast, and effective—something that they fancy they might have done or become. It wasn't to be, so they have settled for fantasizing by watching others, and they will pay whatever it costs to do so.

Did God intend for man to strive to win at any cost, to beat someone into submission, to cheat and buy-out the referee? Or did He create us to strive only to be excellent, to excel only to better ourselves to endeavor to amount to something?

This spirit of competition—the spirit of pride that destroys; the need to be king at any cost and lord it over another human being, eventually even God—is from the regions below, and should be recognized for what it is and be dealt with.

Home Court Advantage?
What about the Christian home - the competition between husband and wife? They play the one-upmanship game: husband putting down wife, wife putting down husband, even in front of their children.

One will not allow the other to excel in a gift. Sometimes the wife knows history or English better than the husband. She is the one qualified to help the children with their homework, especially in the area of her expertise. The husband may know about arithmetic. He can shine there!

Do we allow this to flow normally? No. Usually we wait until one makes a slight error, then the spouse pounces on it with a put down. Is it because we don't love each other? Not usually.

It is out of deep childhood insecurity that has crept over into adulthood. We are so insecure that we seize on every opportunity to make ourselves look good at the expense of others.

Is your insecurity showing in this area? Here's a good test to give yourself to check and see. The next time someone begins to tell a joke that you have already heard, are you secure enough to allow him the spotlight for a few moments or do you speak up and say, "I have already heard it"?

Is it so important to your security that you must rob that person of a little joy in relating an incident or telling a story so you can have a little attention?

Here is another test to give yourself: Do you allow your spouse or your children to tell something that relates to a family vacation or happening without constantly interrupting? Are you secure enough to allow them to miss some minor points without correcting them publicly?

I used to do this until I discovered I had been doing it from childhood insecurity that was carried over into adulthood.

Children reared in an atmosphere of one-upmanship and of putting each other down are being taught insecurity. This kind of competition is wrong. They can be taught correctly.

They can learn how to excel and better themselves by learning how secure they can become as believers in Christ, rather than being taught how to have false security by winning the wrong way.

Children should be taught that they have security, even when they lose. They should be taught how to accept themselves under all situations, whether winning or losing. They need to know that God loves them just as much and that you as parents also appreciate and love them, regardless of whether or not they make the team, whether they win or lose.

Winners Already
Teach this to your children. Learn to overcome the insecurities passed on to you through the horrors of being a loser during some competitive event. Your child may have been defeated because he lost to someone more skilled. Don't tease or put him down or remind him of your accomplishments. Make him to know where the true security is: in Christ, our Lord.

Believers in the Lord Jesus have all the security they need to see them through this life. We are winners. All we need to do is read the last page and our hands are raised in triumph!

We are not going to be winners; we are winners already, seated with Christ in the heavenlies. We need to hear ourselves speaking like we are already on the other side.

Source: He Who Laughs Lasts and Lasts and Lasts
by Dr. Roy H. Hicks
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Roy Hicks
Web site:
Roy H. Hicks was a successful minister of the Gospel who gave his life to pastoring and pioneering churches throughout the United States. He served the Lord in various foreign fields, having made missionary journeys to South America, the Orient, Australia, and New Zealand.

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