Boundless, a ministry of Focus on the Family, has just published a short article by yours truly entitled “Christians and Competition.” Here is the executive summary I originally submitted for the article:
How should college students and young professionals think about competition? It goes on all the time, whether we know it or not. Professors compare students with other students in classes (or for merit-based scholarships). We interview “against” our friends for the most attractive summer or full-time jobs. Does it end on graduation day? Nope. Most employers “rank” employees (at least within their band/level). And then there are temptations to jealousy towards others in our same professional field. As Christians, we’re called to do “whatever we do, in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col 3:17), and “to the glory of God” (I Cor 10:31). And there’s a fine line between wanting to make a name for Christ and wanting to make a name for ourselves — so competition can be an issue even in the ministry. Regardless of one’s vocation, there are dangers of arrogance and self-promotion, and there are also dangers in setting goals too low, squandering potential (II Kings 13:18-19). This article will examine how a framework of “Christian excellence” views other people — both those whose accomplishments or stature may (in God’s wisdom) exceed ours, and those for whom (by God’s grace) we may serve as role models. Though man looks on the outward appearance, God looks at the heart (I Sam 16:7). Ultimately, it is faithfulness that pleases God and puts Him on display. Yet we should wisely steward our God-given talents for maximum Kingdom impact.
All thoughts are welcome.