In high school I worked to be the best academically. I maintained straight As to win awards and to earn the status of Valedictorian. Being the best was a huge priority for me—for all the wrong reasons. I sought to be the best to receive praise and honor. I wanted the glory for myself.
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness.
Psalm 115:1 (NRSV)
That’s where I went wrong. I’m learning that healthy competition involves striving to be the best at whatever we do so that we lift up God’s name, not ours. All the awards we win won’t matter in the long run, but what we do to glorify God can make an eternal difference. When we compete with the attitude that we will do our best because we are children of God, we honor God. And when we realize that God has given us all of our talents, we can share our gifts with others and give God all the praise!
ACT ON IT: Next time you feel competitive, pause for a moment to consider how you can lift up God’s name and share God’s love rather than competing only for personal glory.