The love of competitive sports, politics, and business rivalry in our culture can have some sad collateral effects for those who seek to embrace the ethics of Scripture… Let’s face it, our culture rewards winning – winning even at someone else’s expense (even gloating in the win or taunting them!).
So here’s what I read in the Bible yesterday during my time of “coffee with the Lord”…
“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away His anger from him.” (Proverbs 24:19-20)
God’s way is different – it’s ethic is distinctive! Christlike love influences everything a Christian does… even in competitive sport, politics, or business!
If my reading of that God-inspired proverb is accurate, I must beware of the negative byproducts of a competitive spirit. It’s one thing to want to succeed – it’s quite another to rejoice and gloat when your adversary loses and is humiliated. It’s ok to strive to succeed – but be careful when your heart experiences glee over your adversary’s destruction.
Hey, the Lord will enable us to respond in a godly way! … and His way is still… “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”
Challenging eh? … especially for a type A personality like mine, with a good dose of competitive DNA thrown in! Oh Lord, help me to be godly – more than winning, I want to be “Christlike!”