3 In Featured Guests

Featured Friend: Nannette @ Hope In The Healing

Today I am introducing you to one of my beautiful writing friends.  I hope you will take the time to read, get to know the writer and visit her blog and social media links.

Character, not Competition
by Nannette Elkins

One of the very first stories in the Bible concerns Competition. Cain and Abel were brothers. Both brought an offering to the Lord and Cain’s offering was not accepted; Abel’s was. This type of sibling rivalry, jealousy and competition eventually caused Cain to take the life of his brother.

Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?  If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it. (Genesis 4:6-7).

This example of unhealthy competition can consume us; the Lord tells us we must rule over it!

Fast forward thousands and thousands of years and let’s take a look at the healthy and unhealthy competition in our world. There is the need to compete all around us, in sports, in business, in education, entertainment and yes, unfortunately, even in the Church.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV)

IN GOD THERE IS NO NEED OF COMPETITION.

Chracter.jpg

The word competition is not even in the Bible (although examples of it abound!) but Unity is talked about and encouraged over and over again. “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” Romans 12:10.

In the early Church, they had “all things common”. If there was a need in the Body, they filled it. No one was to go without; they preferred their brother and sister above themselves!

They didn’t compete against each other but instead they learned to serve and they all worked together for the Kingdom.

Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. (Acts 4:34-35)

Where there is Unity, there is power. We read in Leviticus 26 that five men can chase 100 but 100 can chase 10,000! See the muscle that comes with being united in Christ? We are 100 times more effective when we are united together.

Satan loves to bring disunity and unhealthy competition into the Body of Christ. He gains great ground when we are consumed with what others are doing, the success of the Church down the road, and even between individuals; keeping up with the Joneses, all of this type of competition is very harmful and not at all Christ-like.

Philippians 2:5 says, Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.What mind is that? Jesus had the mind of a servant. He humbled Himself and came into this world as a lowly servant and we are to model ourselves after Him. Jesus showed us by example how to be a servant in the Kingdom. He even washed the feet of His disciples, showing them the importance of putting others before yourself.

The psalmist wrote, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Psalm 133:1.

Character, not Competition

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’”

Here, the disciples are all in an uproar over who is the best, who is the most liked (check those boxes!) and who is closer to The Teacher.

Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:1-5)

It’s all about Him; not about us. God is most pleased when we have an attitude of preferring each other before and above ourselves, possessing a childlike humility and promoting unity in the Kingdom.

An active prayer life, an attitude of gratitude and a focus on the needs of others will promote Character in our lives; there will be no need for Competition.

Paris 2Nannette has served in various ministry positions over the years, most recently as a pastor’s wife and missionary to Eastern Europe serving in the countries of Estonia and Latvia. An aspiring writer, speaker, teacher and editor, she was kicked out of her comfort zone by the Lord and enjoys encouraging others through her blog, Hope in the Healing and monthly at Internet Café Devotions. She travels with her husband as the North America Directors for Revival By Design, teaching church growth seminars from a Bible-based blueprint for revival. She has been attached to The Sweetheart, Douglas, for 3 years and is happiest when the joys of her life, Kyle, Rachel, Kristopher and Korey Ross, are all gathered around her table. You can find Nannette, a.k.a Candacejo, on social media @ TwitterFacebookPinterestInstagram and Google+

 

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Chris Malkemes
    September 30, 2014 at 4:15 am

    I was a long distance runner. Now that was character building not competition (did get trophies but they faded and the character remained)
    Chris Malkemes recently posted..Is It In The Approach?

  • Reply
    Janet Cafer
    September 30, 2014 at 9:11 am

    praying for unity in the faith… My Scripture of the day was right along with this, Nanette. 1st Cor 3:9 “For we are God’s fellow workers..”

  • Reply
    Mindy
    October 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Character not competition – yes! Lovely post.
    Mindy recently posted..Giving Thanks Friday (and a winner!)

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