Competition Has a Cost
I brush aside my brother and sprint past him, determined to be the one who comes in first. The rest of the family is watching our impromptu race, and I need to be the one they declare the winner. I need to do better than my brother, no matter how fast he is.
At times we get into “competitive mode” and cannot stop ourselves from pushing for first place. In those moments, all we want is to win; and we will do whatever it takes to cross the finish line first, to be better than our “opponents.” Competition often causes problems among siblings. It can cause friends to fight. The way we compete is important if we want to keep our competitive spirit from messing up our relationships.
Emily Acker [Plover, WI]
Learn from Your Losses
Competing with others is a part of life. We all want to get ahead. The desire to succeed seems to be in our nature. But life is tough. And sometimes we will lose. Pushing ourselves to be our best can be positive and healthy; but no matter how hard we try to succeed, things will not always go our way. Sometimes we will fall flat on our faces. So how do we react when we fail? Are we sore losers, or do we get up and try again?
If we succeeded in everything we do, then we would not experience the struggle that develops character. Failing allows us to see things from a different perspective and to do things in new ways. If we learn from our mistakes, we can do better the next time. Overcoming failure actually helps us become stronger people.
So keep competing—and trying again when you fall on your face. You won’t regret getting back up and giving it your best!
JANUARY 14, 2018
NEXT DAY STRETCH
Know When to Lose
Wanting to be at our best, we always seem to be competing, even in small ways. But there are times when we need to slow down, when we need to give up our competitiveness and let others win.
Mark 10:31 (NIV) says the “first will be last, and the last first.” Ultimately, the little competitions of this world do not matter as much as we think they do. What truly matters is whether we give generously and lose graciously. Would you stop to help someone else cross the finish line? Would you give up your need to be the best so a sibling can shine?
In each competitive situation you encounter, pause to consider who or what is most important. Weigh the cost to your relationships. Make healthy choices based on past mistakes. Be a good loser. And enable others to win, for that is the most loving thing you can do.
Bethany Acker [Plover, WI]