Spiritual Practice

Competitors and Friends

Hillary Jenny, 14

Tennis is my favorite sport. It incorporates a variety of fitness components; it’s a lifelong sport; and most of all, tennis is fun to play. in the three years I’ve been on my school’s tennis team, I have bcome more competitve, which has helped me in other aspects of my life. I now meet many of my personal goals because I have more drive to achieve.

Is this the love you show your friend?
2 Samuel 16:17a (NIV)

Believe it or not, competition also helps me to know who my true friends are. One day during practice, I had to play a challenge match against one of my best friends. I wasn’t sure what to do. I agonized: Should I try to improve my postion on the team by playing my best and possibly beating my friend, or should I help her out by letting her win? I finally decided that I would play my best and accept the outcome. I beat her.

When we stepped off the court, she started walking toward me. I expected her to be angry because I had knocked her out of her position, but she only wanted to ask if I could go to a movie with her that night. Looking back I realize that I shouldn’t have expected anything less. She was a real friend. She wanted me to succeed just as much as she wanted to succeed.


BE A REAL FRIEND: The next time you compete with a friend, pray for humility. Be the first to offer a word of encouragement.

—from devozine (January/February 2006). Copyright © 2005 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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