It was exactly what she wanted; to be captain of the softball team. Then why when she came through the door was she crying? The tears flowed as she recanted the conversation that followed the vote. Jealousy, envy, and competition drove the cutting remarks that wounded her heart. I wish I could tell Madi it would be much better when she grew up, but unfortunately, that isn’t always true.
On Friday, we studied how John the Baptist dealt with competition. He faced it head on and won. When given the news that Jesus was gaining more disciples and baptisms he responded: “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.” He was very direct: I have been given my gifts and my calling. I’ll use what I have.
Now, in John 4: 1 – 3, Jesus is faced with the same information: He is gaining more disciples and baptisms than John. His responded in verse 3: “When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.” (NIV) He left; He moved on to another area that was in need of the gifts and callings He had. He made sure that He had no part in a negative movement. He gave no attitude; no actions that exasperated the situation. He simply made a choice to let John fulfill his calling in Judea while Jesus moved on down to Galilee. His choice was to stay focused on His purpose: to make disciples.
Competition runs deep. It is an issue that comes up time and time and time again in our lives. It may not be labeled competition, but that is exactly what it is.
What is the “competition” in your life? What is that thing that is crying out to be noticed; to become the center of your focus? A parent/child relationship? Tension at work? A ministry with too many chiefs and not enough warriors?
The enemy’s plan is always the same: remove our focus. Get our heart and eyes off of pointing others to Jesus. He will use people, ministries, children, spouses….just about anything to get our attentions distracted. Distraction leads to derailment.
Jesus models wisdom. Don’t let competition even be a factor; simply move. Get out of the way of whatever is screaming out for drama. We can make a choice to not get swept up into the upheaval. We can choose to stick to our calling.
That reminds me of a guy named Nehemiah. Check out his story in the book after his name; we’ll look at how he handled a similar situation tomorrow.
Let’s hope the captain of that softball team leads her team to victory tonight 🙂