What Competition Really Is

“Competition brings out the worst in the human animal.” That was my answer to one of the questions during a beauty pageant in college. (Yes, you read that right – I was a participant, a contender of the Department of Chemical Engineering to be exact. No, I didn’t want to be in it but our department head ordered me to. There was no other she could think of she said. You may lower your brows now (smile). I know I’m not a “beauty pageant material”, even my older sister advised me then, “Rina, I think you should just come out during the question-and-answer portion.” See?). Anyway, I got that quote from a movie I watched that summer :).

I didn’t really know it then, how painful and destructive competition could become. I learned later in life, however, how competition really brings out the worst in the human animal.

When I was still managing our company, I had a client-friend who competed with her own close relative in the same industry. They had had a nasty history and from then on, competed with each other so ferociously one observer, also a client-friend, commented, “I’m scared to think what will come of these two, competing like that.”

I know too well how competition could be so ugly and scary. For the strong-gutted, they will thrive, but for the faint-hearted ones, they are in for a painful ride. But I do believe, both are bound for destruction.

When the relative inaugurated her new laboratory, this client-friend confided that she dreams of building her own lab. She said she must have her own lab! She said she couldn’t sleep just by thinking about it. She was consumed by it. The immediate effect of competition is peacelessness.

I knew where she was coming from. When I put up my own company, I also thrived in competition. But I could say it was a healthy one, as I aimed of leading the pack. I tried not to be diverted by competitors’ tactics as I worked to reaching my company’s vision.

But competition may come in different forms, like competing with neighbors and friends, reminding us of the old cliche, “keeping up with the Joneses”.

Competition breeds covetousness and vice-versa. It’s a vicious cycle.

To be consumed by covetousness is beyond scary. But its hapless victims don’t know that. They are as helpless as any other who are in the clutches of the enemy.

Covetousness is idolatry. It’s worshiping the things of this world. That’s what the Bible says.

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry(Col. 3:5)

Did you know that if we love and embrace the things of the world the love of God is not in us? Read carefully:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2: 15-17)

But there is help for the covetous as there is help for the murderers, adulterers, robbers, and all products of sin. And that help comes only from the Lord Jesus Christ. He promises:

“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

You who are powerless against the temptations of this world; you who are under the influence of the god of this world, consciously or unconsciously walking the path of competition and covetousness – come unto Jesus. He is bidding you. He alone can set you free.

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)


(If you haven’t received the Lord Jesus Christ in your life and are not sure if you are saved and heir of eternal life, and you are so searching for true peace and happiness, know the keys of salvation here).

My weekly gratitude list ~ thankful to the Lord for:

  • birds gaily singing outside the window even before the morning sun bathes our home with its golden glow.
  • a luxuriating foot spa (with dead sea salts foot soak and lavender-scented scrub) assisted by my beloved husband; lavender doesn’t fail to soothe my senses.
  • cozy snuggles in my sweetheart’s arms.
  • our buffet table and display cabinets finally cleaned of clutter; a box full of old silver and glass dishes sent away to the province.
  • fluffy pancakes dripping with my favorite virgin honey from a bee farm in Tagaytay. I love its very distinct floral taste. It’s like eating a bouquet of flowers :).

Linked to Sharing His Beauty, Multitudes on Mondays, Titus 2sday, Domestically Divine, Encourage My Heart, Teach Me Tuesday, State of the Heart, Women Living Well, Women in the Word Wednesday, Proverbs 31 Thursday, Faith Filled Friday, Spiritual Sundays, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

10 comments on “What Competition Really Is

  1. Hmmm. Food for thought here. Competition can indeed produce covetousness and the lack of peace that comes from it, but it can also be a training ground on which we learn perseverance and the joy of achieving under adverse circumstances. Of course, that predicates that we compete in something that really matters. A beauty pageant probably doesn’t qualify, nor does any other competition to which we contribute little overt effort. However, a competition that elevates accomplishment, one that says, “Look what I did with what God gave me” in a way that glorifies Him, well that has possibilities. Of course, even as I write this, I remember how difficult that is to do without elevating ourselves in the process. Hmmm.. Like I said, food for thought.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you for your insights, Mrs. P. No, I’m not talking here about the kind of competition, particularly in sports, which when rightly and humbly offered to God could bring glory and honor to Him. I’ve pondered on that kind of competition while writing this, and I intentionally excluded it here for I’m sure there are exceptions. This reminds me of the story of Eric Liddel, for instance. He honored God and in return, God honored him by making him win his event in the Olympics, a feat that is not forgotten. And that definitely gave glory to God.

  2. Charlotte says:

    So true, Rina. And it is so easy to fall into this competition trap. Thank you for this encouraging post. And I want a bite [or two] of those delicious pancakes.

  3. Wendy says:

    Some excellent points here Rina! It’s so easy to fall into the trap of competing against another and we need to search our hearts and root any such evil out.

  4. Ann says:

    I’m not a competitive person by nature, so it’s difficult for me to relate to this issue in depth. But I do know people who are very competitive, often to the point of letting what they’re competing for take over their lives. (Isn’t that kind of what they call the ‘type A’ personality?) Anyways, great post! We should always pursue God’s will in everything we do and give Hime the ultimate glory. Great gratitude list, too! Pancakes look so yummy!

    In His Lo♥e, Ann

    • RinaPeru says:

      You hit the mark, Ann! Yes, based on my own experience, the most competitive ones are those of the “type A personality” (of which I am a recovering member). Thank God for His grace!

  5. salina19 says:

    Rina, I always enjoy reading your posts. Thank you for linking up to mine this week.

    I moderate a private group on Facebook with several Christian bloggers and I’d love for you to check it out. Here’s the link to our blog. http://bloggersingod.blogspot.com/

    It contains all of our info, but basically we support each other in our writing by adding our links, requesting prayer, etc. You can email me at bloggersingod@gmail.com Thanks ♥

  6. I am a recovering Type A personality too–great truths and insight.

  7. Jacqueline says:

    I never really thought that much about this topic but it is so true that it leads down a destructive path

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