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On competition.

Quick thoughts as a follower of Christ who is also a calligrapher/artist/participant in the social media community.

Organizations and hashtags and posts have been dedicated to the idea of #communityovercompetition.  I’ve also read the following quote rendered in beautiful art form on many Instagram pages: “I’m not here to compete with anyone.  I hope we all make it.”

And I assume most of the people behind these organizations and hashtags and phrases are women.  Women artists.  Women calligraphers.  Women designers.  Women entrepreneurs.

And as a woman, I understand the spirit of it.  Don’t get catty in business.  Be inclusive.  Share ideas.  Root for the woman next to you in your industry, in other industries, in life.  Don’t turn the creative world into high school with its mean-spirited rivalries and cliques.

I love the spirit behind #communityovercompetition.  But here’s where I have a wee bone to pick:

The problem isn’t competition.

The problem is sin.

Selfishness, pride, malice, the willingness to crush and sacrifice each other for the sake of Me, My Work, My Business, My Kingdom.

Sin doesn’t come from competition.  Sin comes from human hearts.

Competition can tempt us to sin, but it doesn’t cause us to sin.  So the determination to be mean-spirited about competition comes from within, not from competition itself.

Competition isn’t bad in and of itself.  Competition can make us train harder, work harder, innovate, and excel.  Competition can be healthy and good-natured.  We don’t have to take it personally.  We don’t have to get catty about it.  We don’t have to sin as we compete.

I think it’s great when hard workers are rewarded for their industry and talent.  Much of life would be drab and stagnant without good, healthy competition — I’m thinking sports, games, all the events for which we can win ribbons and trophies and titles, and Master Chef. :]

So I propose we change the hashtag — if not in real life, at least in our minds.  Something like #redeemedcompetitionandcommunity.  Or #kindcompetitionandcommunity.  It loses its jingle, but you get the idea.

We can compete in all humility and love … and give it our all … and then genuinely applaud each other when it’s all said and done, whether we win or lose, because ultimately life isn’t about these little races around the track.  These aren’t determining, defining, or rewarding on a deep, soul level or a grand, eternal level.

How sad if the ribbon, the trophy, the title, the bottom line were it.

But our greatest prize isn’t laurels or admirers or bottom lines or any such sad, fading glories.  Our greatest prize is an eternal one.

And for this Prize, I hope with all my heart that “we all make it.” ♥

1 Corinthians 9:25

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