Competitive? Who Me?
There must be something in the air around here, because it’s confession time. On the heels of Elizabeth’s announcement that she is a wee bit afraid of technology, I must admit that I also have a secret problem.
This may not sound like a big issue, competition is a way of life in the USA, but I’m not just kind of competitive. For example, if you and I were walking into a building at the same time, I would have to force myself to refrain from taking off running and proclaiming, “Last one to the door is a rotten egg!” Sometimes I play out the race in my head anyway and smugly open the door, knowing that I won and you are a rotten egg.
Usually I can filter my competitiveness so that it stays in my head. When I pull out my phone at church to open my Olive Tree app to the Bible verse, I secretly peek over to the person next to me who is doing the same, but on a different Bible app. It is incredibly important that I get to the verse first, obviously proving that Olive Tree has the superior app. The person next to me has no idea that they just lost in the Battle of the Bible App.
I’d like to blame my competitive tendencies on the fact that I grew up the youngest child and only girl (save for my mother) in a family of six. Having three older brothers who are faster, smarter and taller than you can do a lot to drive a person to want to win at something…or anything really. Being first to the dinner table or the best at flipping pancakes was a big deal to me.
So last week when we announced on Facebook that we were picking a new splash screen for our Bible study apps, I couldn’t help but let my inner beast out. My boss picked the last design, while I had my heart set on number two. After a record-setting turnout from our users on Facebook, my design was crowned victorious! I had a very hard time not throwing the results in my boss’s face. (My choice got over twice the votes that my boss’s did. Not that I was counting or anything.)
I did my best to be a gracious winner, which really just means I didn’t yell “Neener, neener my choice won and yours got creamed!” In this situation, and many, many others, I repeat Jesus’ words in Matthew 20:16, “So the last will be first, and the first last.” It is this phrase and that of Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” that keep me grounded when I start to get overly competitive. I still prefer to win, but I’m learning that the cliché that there is more to life than winning might just be true. That and people generally like you more when you don’t use the phrase “neener neener.”
Do you have any personal vices that you struggle with daily? I also happen to be a coffee addict, but I haven’t figured out how to overcome that one yet. We’d love to hear how you work through your bad habits.