I’m the kind of person people don’t really like to play board games with. Once the game has begun, my focus is the win. In a game that involves a lot of offensive and defensive strategy, I rarely engage in the social aspects of being with friends and family – we can visit after the game is over…don’t interrupt me while I’m formulating my next move. I must confess that during those moments I enjoy the game more than the players. I don’t like to lose, but I am not a poor sport when I do. However, more times than not, I will immediately suggest a rematch in order to redeem myself.
My earliest memories of a competitive setting are high school track meets. I hated losing. Particularly when I felt it was a teammate’s fault (i.e., another on the relay team). While never one to vocalize my frustrations very often, the look was usually enough. It has taken years of discipline to prevent such blatant displays of my negative emotions via my face, and I am still working on it. Anyone who knows me well can spot my attitude as soon as they see me. There is an old English proverb that says “The eyes are the window to the soul”. This has proven to be very true for me. Can anyone relate??
Competition can be fun and useful in developing skills and forming relationships with others. Some children’s programs are designed to reward a final competitor or team as the winner, while others see all players as winners with equal reward and recognition. As adults there are pageants, cook-offs, sports, and intellectual competitions where judges watch, compare, score, and determine the winner. Companies compete for business, personnel within the companies compete for position, siblings compete for attention….the list could go on and on. Those with competitive natures can easily begin to make everything they do a competition of some sort!
Yesterday I commented on the following scripture, referring to how we look at images given to us by the world, or even through the bible, and measure ourselves against standards that we may see as impossible, thus leaving us defeated. Today, I want to look at the same scripture again, but this time thinking about how we may see ourselves as the standard that others should live up to:
“…when they measure themselves with themselves and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding and behave unwisely.” 2 Corinthians 10:12
The result is still the same – no understanding and unwise behavior. How many times this week did we look at what someone else was wearing, how they did or did not discipline their children, or we heard their words and we measured them by what we think they should do….” Like it or not, it’s called judging. And we are commanded not to do it.
“Judge not and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and release and you will be acquitted and forgiven and released.” Luke 6:37
What do we think this verse really means? God is exposing my heart, showing me all the little ways I go through life judging others. Most of the time I have a negative thought about what someone else has done, it has nothing to do with whether or not it’s sin. It’s simply my opinion. And the fact is, God isn’t particularly interested in my opinion. He’s interested in my love walk. My love walk includes my actions, thoughts, AND my facial expressions!
We tend to pull this verse out of that chapter to let someone know they shouldn’t be judging us. If you back up a couple of verses you’ll find “love your enemies…do good and lend, expecting nothing in return…” v 35 Verses 35-36 also say “…He is kind and charitable and good to the ungrateful and the selfish and wicked. So (you) be merciful – sympathetic, tender, responsive, and compassionate – even as your Father is.” He hadn’t changed topic when He got to the “judge not” part.
In this game of life, God gives us all equal status. He isn’t rewarding one for being better than another. He is offering to all His love, His salvation. Our souls are made up of our mind, will and emotions. If I want the windows of my soul to reveal His mercy, His love, and His salvation, I must relinquish my opinions and emotions to Him. They only matter if they reflect Him.
I want my love walk to make everyone I come in contact with feel like a winner!!