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Kingdom of God vs. Competition 

"3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than himself. 4 Look not every man to his own things, but every man also to the things of others." (Phi 2:3-4)


Definition of Competition
The act of seeking, or endeavouring to gain, what another is endeavouring to gain at the same time; common strife for the same objects; strife for superiority; emulous contest; rivalry, as for approbation, for a prize, or as where two or more persons are engaged in the same business and each seeking patronage; - followed by for before the object sought, and with before the person or thing competed with.

Some Related Words:
antagonism, antipathy, bad blood, championship, clashing, collision, competitor, concours, conflict, contention, contrariety, contrariness, corrival, cross-purposes, cutthroat competition, disaccord, dissension, emulation, enmity, event, fractiousness, friction, game, gamesmanship, hostility, inimicalness, jockeying, lifemanship, negativeness, non-cooperation, obstinacy, one-upmanship, oppugnancy, perverseness, recalcitrance, refractoriness, rencontre, repugnance, strife, striving, struggle, tournament, tug-of-war, uncooperativeness, envying, warfare.

Types of Competition
Basically there two types of activities that are referred to as "competition":

Antagonistic:
When, whether for want or greed, two or more people try to obtain the same thing,

In Sport:
True sports are competitive. The most proficient athletes like to pit their skills against others in competition. The ultimate sporting competition is the Olympics. The victory of one is the loss of others. Victory is achieved in beating (killing) others.

In Politics:
Democracy is essentially the institutionalisation of competition. An election is a competition. The winner of the competition attains power for a short time, that is, until the next competition. Dog eats dog, kind of thing.

In Business:
The concept of competition can be viewed as an evil <Competition> combating another evil <Greed>. It seems to be the case of two evils making one "good" <Fair Prices?>.

Survival:
When two or more identities try to obtain the same thing in order to survive and live.

In Biology and Ecology:
Organisms compete for scarce resources such as food, water, mates, and territory. An acorn that falls to the forest floor, for example, must compete with other plants for nutrient-rich soil, water, and adequate sunlight. Surely this is due to: "And to Adam he said, Because you gave ear to the voice of your wife and took of the fruit of the tree which I said you were not to take, the earth is cursed on your account; in pain you will get your food from it all your life." (Gen 3:17)

Competition is Evil
In this paper we consider Antagonistic competition as defined: "two or more persons engaged to gain at the same time; contesting between themselves; striving for superiority; in rivalry, as for approbation for the same prize in the context of "games", not necessarily for life survival".

In this competition the end result is that the winner is ecstatic with joy and the loser/s in abject sorrow. The joy of the winner is founded on the loss of the vanquished, just like in war. The winner has won by putting down everyone else.

We declare this type of competition as being utterly evil and not godly.

IN GOD THERE IS NO NEED OF COMPETITION

Introduction and the Apostles System
The Apostles did things God's way and everyone was well off. They all worked hard for God's purposes. Those with money and possessions distributed their wealth to provide for those in need. They did not compete against each other but served each other. They did not have to work with unbelievers or a corrupt system but worked together for God. This is a wonderful fair system, which the church sadly does not practice today. If the church did this, there would be less problems and the church could have a relationship with God as the Apostles did: "34 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, 35 And laid [them] down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need." (Act 4:34-35)

The Problem of Competition
People say that we need serious competition to have fun, keep prices down have a large variety of goods and services. However, this is not true. In fact the opposite is happening, where there is predatory pricing. Powerful corrupt people and companies are competing against, taking advantage of and destroying those people and businesses that are less well off. With the fair businesses gone, the monopolies raise prices, and their products are often of poor quality so that they need replacing. This means more profit for the multinationals at the honest persons expense. Destroying poor, honest innovators and small businesses means that good products and services are suppressed. This is resulting in a smaller variety of goods and services, and making these more expensive.

Competition encourages many outlets to sell the same things, which causes confusion to shoppers, who spend excessive time shopping around. There is also often a lack of information from staff that do not know the product.

Today we have a system where there are too many people competing to do the same thing, and too few people serving others and doing God's will. People are therefore taking a limited number of paid jobs and money away from honest people. If one succeeds in a career or enterprise to make money, they are therefore preventing someone else succeeding under such a competitive environment of limited opportunities. People try hard to unsuccessfully find paid work and money for many years as a result. The honest people, who often try hard, often have their lives destroyed as a result.

Someone who was involved in the occult quoted "Satan's entire kingdom runs on the principle of competition; just the opposite of God's kingdom where everyone serves each other. (See http://www.mt.net/~watcher/bluey.html)" That report describes how witches compete for demons to destroy each other.

It is strange that the so-called Christians say that competition is good, and that it is what we should be doing!!! Unlike the Apostles who gave their worldly professions away to work for the Lord, people of today are competing to study or work for a corrupted system.  “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him,” (1Jo 2:15)

However there are some exceptions, where doing God's will involves some serious competition that can't be avoided. For example we all need some limited natural resources and money to survive and obtain the essentials. Taking these would disadvantage others and be considered competitive. But if we seek to do God's will we can help people in return for taking only what we need therefore the net benefit would not be too damaging.

Non-serious competition is probably good when it is for exercise, personal motivation and used as a means to lead people to God.

But when it comes to antagonistic competition there are many problems such as over training, lust for worldly success, money and medals. There is pride if you win and distraction from doing God's will. When you lose there is anger, disappointment, envy, regret and resentment. The disappointment and low self-esteem incurred by people losing is causing suicides, drugs, family breakdown, crime, injuries, anger with God, and people not being thankful to God. These things are not from God.

Consider the example of the Olympic games. It has medals containing the Greek goddess of victory and is highly riddled by drugs and corruption. It encourages, competition and greed, along with the worship of idols. It causes addiction in sport to distract the elect. It wastes money, which is the goal of the international bankers who profit from the interest. It honours the Olympic spirit and the flame. This is a god of the Olympics. Worshiping other gods is diabolical in God's sight. It is highly esteemed by men, therefore an abomination in the sight of God. "And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." (Luk 16:15)

Other serious sport encourages greed and large payouts, and it motivates people to desire fame and fortune. Gambling, match fixing and bribes are an unfortunate by-product.

God's way is the Solution
Instead, God's way is a rightfully regulated fair go for everyone where everyone is well off. If that was the current practice, small businesses along with everyone else, would be doing well and there would be such a great variety innovative products and services. Instead these products and services have been suppressed, so that we have to rely on a corrupt system. Fair price control should be used to benefit everyone and stop companies from making large profits.

Instead of competing with each other, small specialist outlets focusing on very similar things could work together and share profits. Fair price control could be used to ensure fair and low prices. More fair regulation would ensure groups of businesses don't become too domineering. This would give a more fair chance for small-specialized businesses because they would not have to compete. Instead of some businesses marketing many products that other nearby businesses sell they could focus more on the ones they know about. The system would be far more efficient without people wasting time shopping around. There would also be less advertising costs.

God's kingdom is about loving, sharing, contentment, praise, joy and giving and preferring others to yourself which are the opposite of competition.

The guidelines in the Kingdom of God
Here is what Scripture says are the guidelines and the principles of living the Kingdom of God:

"[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." Phi 2:3

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Rom 12:10

Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. Rom 13:13

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 1Co 3:3

Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:20,21

Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Gal 5:26

He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 1Ti 6:4

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. Jam 3:14-16

And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Luk 14:7-11

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Luk 18:14

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Eph 5:21

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 1Pe 5:5

We should not do anything through strife. “Strife” refers to opposing, battling, or competing with others. Because of greed human beings naturally compete with one another. Some competition is imposed on us, such as the competition between good and evil, but there is a lot of competition that is very negative.

Another negative thing about competition that can hurt is “vainglory.” “Vainglory” speaks of having too high of an opinion of yourself. This refers to vanity, the wrong kind of pride, and high-mindedness. It refers to a person evaluating themselves and thinking that they are better than others. Of course, vainglory will hurt unity because a person who has this kind of attitude will treat others and talk to others in a way that they should not. They will talk down to others and look down on others. The word “vain” means empty and many aims human strive for are vain and useless such as sport achievements. If you do things through vainglory and have this kind of extremely high opinion of yourself, then your opinion is really empty because you have the wrong opinion. God is the only one who should be held in such high esteem. To God be the glory, not to man. We should think and speak and do things that elevate God, not ourselves.

In order to help preserve unity we are told very clearly what attitude we should have towards other believers. “Let each esteem other better than themselves.” According to this verse treating others as equals is not enough. We should look at others as being better than we are. If we do that, we will not have a problem with strife and vainglory. You have heard the old saying, “Learn to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.” In other words, be sympathetic to the situation of others. Something very similar to this is said here. “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” We are selfish if we only look at things from our own personal viewpoint. There is always another way of looking at things. We should be understanding and considerate of the way that someone else looks at things. If we are not, we will not contribute to Christian unity the way that we should. Competition disregards all that and is an antithesis of Christian principles.

In case we are having difficulty in understanding how to have such a selfless attitude towards other believers, we are given the perfect example to follow. That’s one of the great challenges of the Christian life, the fact that we are given such a high standard to aspire to. Philippians 2:5 say, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” An important thing to notice about this verse is the first word, “Let.” It speaks of our own will, our own decisions, and our own choices. When we are selfish, we choose to be selfish, and we are held accountable for our choices. There is no excuse for doing things through strife or vainglory.

There is no excuse for esteeming yourself more highly than others. There is no excuse for not following the example that Jesus gave to us. Do not fool yourself. By the grace of God you have the power to make the right choice.

The following table clearly shows how modern Christianity is more in line with the secular Western view of life than with Biblical principles.

WESTERN Approach

BIBLICAL Approach

Life analyzed in precise categories.

Everything blurs into everything else.

A split between natural & supernatural

Supernatural affects everything.

Linear logic

Contextual or "block" logic

"Rugged Individualism"

Importance of being part of group

Equality of persons

Value comes from place in hierarchies

Freedom orientation

Security orientation

Competition is good

Competition is evil (cooperation better)

Man-centred universe

God/tribe/family-centred universe

Worth of person based on money/material possessions/power

Worth derived from family relationships

Biological life sacred

Social life supremely important

Chance + cause & effect limit what can happen

God causes everything in his universe

Man rules nature through understanding and applying laws of science

God rules everything, so relationship with God determines how things turn out.

Power over others achieved through business, politics and human organizations.

Power over others is structured by social patterns ordained by God.

All that exists is the material

The universe is filled with powerful spirit beings

Linear time divided into neat segments. Each event is new.

Cyclical or spiralling time. Similar events constantly reoccur.

History is recording facts objectively and chronologically.

History is an attempt to preserve significant truths in meaningful or memorable ways whether or not details are objective facts.

Oriented to the near future

Oriented to lessons of history

Change is good = progress

Change is bad = destruction of traditions

Universe evolved by chance

Universe created by God

Universe dominated and controlled by science and technology

God gave man stewardship over his earthly creation. Accountability to God.

Material goods = measure of personal achievement

Material goods = measure of God’s blessing

Blind faith

Knowledge-based faith

Time as points on straight line ("at this point in time…"

Time determined by content ("In the day that the Lord did…")

Competition, regardless of it's form, has as it's goal of pitting one person against another person in some test of prowess which leaves one a "winner" and another a "loser". It is a forum by which individuals perfect their "discipline".

Scripture supports none of these values. The Bible teaches exactly the opposite of everything Competition teaches and stands for. The idea that pitting one person against another to determine which one is best strikes at the very heart of what Jesus said in His commandment to love one another. (Joh 13:34) It also flies in the face of another one of Christ's examples; that of washing the disciples' feet and then he said, "And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all."(Mar 10:44)

The very nature of competition is not at all that of peace or love for your neighbour; it is one-upmanship, to defeat the other in order to be a "victor". In this quest to become victorious these "athletes" dedicate hours per day doing nothing but perfecting and glorifying the flesh in the hopes of attaining the ultimate adulation of the flesh on the victor's podium while the band plays the respective national anthem of the victor's represented country. A massive exclamation of pride!

Nowhere does the Bible promote pride and the proud. It is quite the opposite; the Bible goes out of it's way to discourage pride and the proud, and even goes so far as to say, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."(Pro 16:18). Competition does not foster love for one another, it promotes defeating the other, just like in a war. The whole purpose is get one better than the next guy for the glory of the country; a great big pride trip! The Bible says, "Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."(James 4:6).

So, the whole purpose of competition is to foster a "spirit" of bettering the next guy. Ever notice how it is the most competitive countries that are the most violent? There are numerous examples of people becoming very violent during sporting events, and this phenomena is not isolated to just one country or region, it is universal. Competition fosters ill will towards others. People take sides for one group and against the other group. Competition fosters division and alienation, not peace and harmony.

It is this competitiveness in business that causes people to become unscrupulous (unprincipled according to Webster's) and to cheat others in the quest of getting one up and being the "victor" in the social race toward perfection of the flesh. The whole premise of competition is to defeat your opponent, to view him as an adversary that needs to be bettered. How does this foster peace or love for your neighbour, when all the time the mental preparation is that of treating the other as an adversary?

To "loose" a competition leaves one with the sensation of being diminished in value as a person, which fosters frustration and frustration often leads to violent outbursts, either against others or against one's self. Not being "victorious" in the quest for glory in the eyes of man is a self-denigrating experience for many, and has even led to suicide in some countries where "winning" or being a "success" is tantamount to good social standing.

This is so contrary to what the Bible teaches! In the Scriptures we read that Jesus proclaimed in a parable about the talents where one was given a certain amount and to another, another amount and when the good man returned he would take account of what they did with their talents, and what was the conclusion? Did the Lord say, "well done thou good and successful servant?" No! What He did say was," Well done thou good and faithful servant". To be faithful and to try is more acceptable in God's eyes than to "compete" with your neighbour in a vain show of one-upmanship.

 

his team won                                                                         his team lost 

The Bible says, "For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust." (Psa 103:14) God knows our weakness and accepts it. The whole idea of competition is to be "better" than the next guy, when the Bible teaches us that " all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23).

It is far more "profitable" to concentrate on eternal spiritual values and acquiring treasures in heaven in the form of souls won to the Kingdom of God than gain "success" on this earth that attest to the person's dedication to the things of this world.

CONCLUSION

  1. Competition is defines as the act of seeking, or endeavouring to gain, what another is endeavouring to gain at the same time; common strife for the same objects; strife for superiority; emulous contest; rivalry, as for approbation, for a prize, or as where two or more persons are engaged in the same business,

  2. In antagonistic competition there are many problems such as over training, lust for worldly success, money and medals. There is pride if you win and distraction from doing God's will. When you lose there is anger, disappointment, envy, regret and resentment. The disappointment and low self-esteem incurred by people losing is causing suicides, drugs, family breakdown, crime, injuries, anger with God, and people not being thankful to God. These things are not from God,

  3. Another negative thing about competition that can hurt is “vainglory.” “Vainglory” speaks of having too high of an opinion of yourself. This refers to vanity, the wrong kind of pride, and high mindedness. It refers to persons evaluating themselves and thinking that they are better than others,

  4. Scripture supports none of these values. The Bible teaches exactly the opposite of everything Competition teaches and stands for. The idea that pitting one person against another to determine which one is best strikes at the very heart of what Jesus said in His commandment to love one another. (Joh 13:34-35),

  5. Competition does not foster love for one another, it promotes defeating the other, just like in a war. Competition is the foundation of Democracy, another thing not of God,

  6. The whole idea of competition is to be "better" than the next guy, when the Bible teaches us that " all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23),

  7. We declare this type of competition as being utterly evil and not godly.

Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.  Gal 5:26