What are some of the things you have competed in (sports, games, music)?
Competition can be a good thing. You can learn a lot of good lessons through competition. How to win well. How to lose well. How to play fair. How to be a good teammate. How to be a good opponent. How to encourage others. How to work hard at something. How to enjoy something whether you win or lose.
Do you like to compete for things? Why?
Yes, competition can be a good thing, but it can also have a dark side too. Sometimes competition makes us feel too good when we win, and too bad when we lose. And it can make us compare ourselves to everyone else, judging ourselves on how we measure up to others. And competition can also make us stop loving the very sport, or game, or music that we were simply meant to have fun doing.
Thankfully, when it comes to our relationship with God it is not a competition. God doesn’t make us compete for spots on his team. In Heaven there won’t be a first place or gold medal. Everyone will get a trophy. Do you know why? Because none of us will ever be good enough to beat Jesus. If Heaven were a contest that only the best get into, then only Jesus would be there.
Praise God heaven is a gift not a competition! Listen to how the Apostle Paul says it to the Roman Christians:
Romans 4:4-5. Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,
Paul says that God “justifies the ungodly.” Do you know what that means? It means that every single one of us starts out as ungodly. We’re all born far from God and his perfection. We all fail the test. We all lose the game. We all play all the wrong notes. We are all sinners. God doesn’t look at some people as better than others. To God we are all a million miles away from his holiness and goodness.
And that is why Jesus came and gave his life for us on the cross. So that we could be “counted as righteous.” Because of our faith in Jesus, God gives us the score we didn’t deserve. The same score as Jesus – 100%. Gold medal. Blue ribbon. Champion. Winner. Perfect.
And that means that as Christians we should never feel like we need to compare ourselves to other people ever again. Why? Because God loves us no matter what.
Because of Jesus we can have a relationship with God for free.
With Jesus we don’t have to compete or compare to earn God’s love.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Try playing a cooperative game together rather than a competitive game. Talk about how cooperative games reflect our relationship with God and others more than competitive games do.
You were the only perfect person ever. Thank you for giving your score to me. Help me to stop comparing myself with everyone else and just love you instead.
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