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What’s the Win In Competing?

5 Lot, who was traveling with Abram, had also become very wealthy with flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and many tents. 6 But the land could not support both Abram and Lot with all their flocks and herds living so close together. 7 So disputes broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot…
8 Finally Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not allow this conflict to come between us or our herdsmen. After all, we are close relatives! 9 The whole countryside is open to you. Take your choice of any section of the land you want, and we will separate. If you want the land to the left, then I’ll take the land on the right. If you prefer the land on the right, then I’ll go to the left.”
10 Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley in the direction of Zoar. The whole area was well watered everywhere, like the garden of the LORD or the beautiful land of Egypt….11 Lot chose for himself the whole Jordan Valley to the east of them. He went there with his flocks and servants and parted company with his uncle Abram. 12 So Abram settled in the land of Canaan, and Lot moved his tents to a place near Sodom and settled among the cities of the plain.13 But the people of this area were extremely wicked and constantly sinned against the LORD. GENESIS 13:5-13 NLT

Competitive relationships always cause division

Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? AMOS 3:3 NLT
• Sibling rivalry
• Critical Christians
My need to be right can wreck my church
If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. TITUS 3:10 NLT
• Competitive co-workers
• Finish first friendships
• Score-keeping marriages
Love keeps no record of wrongs. 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4 NLT

My competitive drive will cloud my moral judgment

1 When Rachel saw that she wasn’t having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”
2 Then Jacob became furious with Rachel. “Am I God?” he asked. “He’s the one who has kept you from having children!”
3 Then Rachel told him, “Take my maid, Bilhah, and sleep with her. She will bear children for me, and through her I can have a family, too.” 4 So Rachel gave her servant, Bilhah, to Jacob as a wife, and he slept with her. 5 Bilhah became pregnant and presented him with a son. 6 Rachel named him Dan, for she said, “God has vindicated me! He has heard my request and given me a son.” 7 Then Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son. 8 Rachel named him Naphtali, for she said, “I have struggled hard with my sister, and I’m winning!”
9 Meanwhile, Leah realized that she wasn’t getting pregnant anymore, so she took her servant, Zilpah, and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Soon Zilpah presented him with a son. 11 Leah named him Gad, for she said, “How fortunate I am!” 12 Then Zilpah gave Jacob a second son. 13 And Leah named him Asher, for she said, “What joy is mine! Now the other women will celebrate with me.” GENESIS 30:1-13 NLT

Relational Tool:

Tap into a deeper motivation

Then his disciples began arguing about which of them was the greatest. LUKE 9:46 NLT
A competitive spirit is a shallow motivator.
The greatest among you must be a servant. MATTHEW 23:11 NLT
• Do your best for God, not for the win
• Celebrate my best effort
• See God’s beauty in other’s abilities

Learn to come in second somewhere

“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.” MATTHEW 20:16 NLT

Community Group Discussion Guide

  1. Have you ever been in a competitive relationship like Lot and Abram that ended with you parting ways?
  2. Did you feel like you were more like Lot or Abram in the parting?
  3. Has your competitive spirit ever got the best of you? If yes, what was the fall out and what is the lesson for the future?
  4. Which of the three deeper motivations will help you not have to win?
  5. Where is an area in your life that you need to finish second?
  6. How do you feel like you are doing serving others? How is God calling you to serve at Sandals Church?

Prayer Reflection Guide

Find a quiet place where you can focus your attention on God. When you’re ready, have a conversation with the Lord about your motives in various areas of your life. Questions like, “What drives me in these areas? Are those motives born from love for God and others? How are they self-serving? Lord, what motive would you want me to have in order to align with your will?” Close with thanking God for your time together. Share your experience with your group.

My Notes