I just completed a three- mile run on my favorite trail. Worshiping as I went, I reflected on the good plan of Father God. In His Son, Jesus, I have assured victory. I’m running this race with endurance and keeping my eyes on Him, the author and perfecter of my faith. This was a helpful passage to meditate upon two miles into the run- the hills and heat quickly brought on fatigue!
I thought about our call to run our faith journey and reminded myself that there are no trophies in heaven; rather, there’s a finisher’s crown for each one who keeps the faith.
How do we best convey this heavenly truth here in the earth when so much of our society is based on competition with others and climbing the ladder of success?
Jesus said, “… many who are first will be last, and the last first. (Mark 10:31).
Once again we see the upside- down kingdom of God challenging our human intellect. The plan of God is that we each each embrace His love for us and, then, spend our lives championing others to do the same. I’m not worried about whether or not I am a better follower of Christ than the next guy! In fact, what I understand from Scripture is that I’m to be thankful for what God has entrusted to me, see it multiplied in the value of souls delivered into eternity, and, at the same time, challenge my brothers and sisters in Christ to also multiply the talents given to them by God. My five talents should bring increase in the same way another’s ten talents do. I do not envy their ten and call, but I honor them and cheer them to the finish.
Getting to the root of the competitive issue, we need to understand that out of a lack of security, we will compete with others, coveting what they have and desiring to even supersede it through our personal accomplishments and/or acquisitions. How does one combat this very natural tendency? All sense of security is found in knowing you are completely loved and accepted by God through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, and your identity is secure in Him. To be confident about whose you are and who you are means the need to compete with others disappears.
Let us remember that a life of competing drives others away, but kingdom work of conveying God’s heart in this world embraces the broken, so that they may hear the good Father in heaven say, “Come and feast at my table.”