devozine

Spiritual Practice

OBSESSION

Katie Bower and Wesley Overhults

In seventh grade, I started to compete with another girl in my class. We competed for the better grade, the teacher’s approval, and the honor society. Eventually, she became my rival. Nothing mattered to me except being better than she was.

For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.
James 3:16 (NRSV)

I look back now and see how one rivalry changed my life. I let go of my friends, my family, and my church family. People changed the way they thought of me because of how rude and selfish I became. The one rivalry I had did me absolutely no good.

—Katie Bower, 15

 

REFLECT: Competition is healthy. The spirit of competition is the reason for organized sports. In business, companies improve their products to compete for consumers’ money. Nothing is wrong with competition as long as everyone involved plays by the rules.

Competition is healthy; but from competition springs rivalry, which can spin out of control and turn ugly. Because human beings love to compete, society sometimes becomes an overly-competitive environment; but not everything in life is a contest. Life isn’t a game in which we try to beat out everyone else for the prize. Relationships without competition are also healthy and often more meaningful.

—Wesley Overhults

—from devozine (September/October 2013). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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