I was competing against Will in our home bowling alley, Wii style, and I was on a roll, going for a turkey when Will started heckling me to mess up. A question rose up inside of me.
Why do we cheer for our competitors to play poorly?
Is it because we don’t believe that our best is good enough to beat their best? Aren’t the greatest games to compete in or watch are the ones in which both teams are playing in top form and each team’s excellence is spurring the other team on to play better?
I think the same is true in life. Life is better lived when we are encouraging each other to be our best. We don’t need to lift ourselves up by pushing someone else down with our words. We don’t need to compare ourselves against others. Now that is a losing game.
The world is big enough for all of us to be successful and happy. And we would all get there quicker if we would “love one another” (1 John 3:11); “encourage one another daily…” (Hebrews 3:13); “…spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24); and “build each other up…” (1 Thess. 5:11).
We shouldn’t be battling against one another anyway. We already have an enemy in this world who is trying to devour us.
Confidence that comes from comparing ourselves to others and elevating our view by standing on their backs is false confidence…or maybe it’s really self-confidence which is diametrically opposed to the confidence that comes from God. God’s confidence is knowing that we are nothing without Him, but through Him all things are possible.
Our confidence comes from focusing on His strength, not comparing ourselves to someone else’s weaknesses.
Of course when I am competing in any kind of contest, I want my opponents to play their best, but make no mistake…I want to crush them.
Just ask Will…