I am fiercely competitive.
Honestly, it’s kind of embarrassing. I am always nervous that a game night may result in me losing some friends. Maybe it’s because I’m an “all in” type of person, or maybe coming from a competitive family just ingrained it in me. I can’t be completely sure.
But one thing is for sure, in the second grade, my competitive drive was in full force. I was a Girl Scout and it was cookie season. The minute I found out the title of “Top Seller” was on the line, I was committed. I went door to door, stood outside the K-Mart down the street and somehow convinced each of my family members they needed at least seven extra boxes of cookies to store in their freezers. I can’t tell you what the official prize was. But I remember loving the affirmation and the feeling of being, “the best.”
It started small, but wanting to be the best quickly turned into a need to be the best. High school turned into a series of competitions I created in my head. From needing the best outfits to holding titles in the organizations I was involved in and striving to get better grades; I quickly became consumed by competition and comparison.
After high school, I still found reasons to compete and people that I wanted to be better than. Ultimately, my worth was being found in my achievements and in the way people perceived me. I believed that in order to be liked or worth anything, I had to prove it by doing and achieving more.
I know I’m not the only one that has felt that pressure, maybe you’ve felt it too. It makes sense if you have. We live in a world that constantly tells us that we need to make more money, have a nicer car and be better than the person next to us. Living with that mentality is exhausting.
My freshman year of college, I finally broke when I realized I couldn’t always win or be the best. My high school titles no longer mattered and my grades suffered with the new rhythms I was trying to get adjusted to. I truly believed that I was no longer worth anything and insecurity swept over me.
That same year, I was told of the grace of God for the first time. It blew my mind. I didn’t understand how a perfect God could ever want me. Surely, He would want me to prove to Him that I was worth something, right? So wrong.
JESUS COULD CARE LESS ABOUT MY RESUME, HE JUST WANTS RELATIONSHIP WITH ME.
Scripture says, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love, He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons [and daughters] through Jesus Christ…” Ephesians 1:4-5.
Before we ever won anything or gained a title, God chose us. From day one, He called us enough and invited us into relationship with Him.
Once we realize Jesus just wants us, regardless of what we have to offer, we are free of the pressures to perform, compete and achieve.
The grace of God still blows my mind. Sometimes I get frustrated with my weaknesses, and I still feel like I need to prove myself to God.
BUT I’VE REALIZED STRIVING IS ACTUALLY REJECTING THE GRACE OF GOD.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love some friendly competition. But the minute I let my worth be dictated by whether I win or lose is the minute I lose sight of the grace of God and who He has called me to be.
I don’t know where you are today, but if you’re feeling caught in the need to compete and strive, I want you to know that you are enough. You can’t do anything to change that. Jesus already chose you. My prayer is that you will find peace in that truth today.
IN RESPONSE //
- Surrender the places where you have felt a pressure to compete // If you find yourself striving in a specific area, ask God to help you surrender that to Him.
- Ask God to speak identity // Our identity isn’t found in our achievements. Pause and ask God who He says you are.
- Stop competing and start championing // Instead of competing with other people, be the first to encourage. Ask God if there is someone specific you can encourage this week.
By Destiny Gonzalez – Communications Staff
Destiny serves as the Communications Coordinator and manages the blog and social media pages for Antioch Waco.