By Dave McCarthy:
Competition is dangerous to my soul.
Why? Competition nurtures my focusing on the weaknesses of others, and when that’s my mindset, my thoughts and my life are all about my own righteousness/success/performance, and I do not have a healthy indifference about my successes and failures: I am consumed about winning, and even more so, about avoiding failure, and that mindset weirds me, causes me to be ungracious, unloving toward others, strokes my passion to feel superior to others, causes me to be indifferent to Jesus and His righteousness/performance, nurtures independence/self-confidence/self-sufficiency in me, and the prayerlessness of that lifestyle.
Not just sports competition. Competition in business, investments, ministry, how others dress, maintain their property, cars, shoes, walk, talk, write. My flesh adores feeling superior to others. Life is about the performance of me and my team, state, nation, political party, denomination. Life is about winning, not loving. All about me, not others. Not their benefit: their downfall. I unconsciously want others to fail, and fail miserably, so that by comparison, I succeed.
But my flesh loves sports. Can Jesus help me enjoy sports, and life, in a healthy way? If I don’t have a healthy indifference as to the outcome of a sporting event involving MY team, I’m gonna be stroked in one of two unhealthy directions: the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. Neither of these nurture a humble, loving attitude toward others. Defeat and humility are not the same. Feeling defeated by defeat is pride, not humility. Humility is having a healthy indifference to the outcome.