Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Do not look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:3-4
I was having a discussion with a friend about how people can be harsh sometimes not realizing that what they are saying can hurt us. Selfishness can cause insensitivity and justify what is being said as good for us when all it really does is hurt us. Fear can give us many impressions of what may happen if, but that is the key word, if. Relationships can be damaged or ruined by a careless selfish word. As Christians, we need to be vigilant in our attitudes. Out of the discussion, God gave me three attitudes we need to do the opposite of, competition, comparison, and complaining. The question becomes why can’t we be just happy for one another.
There is nothing wrong with healthy competition, as a runner I love to compete, but I compete against myself. I have long ago learned that if I am going to have any kind of peace in my running competition I need only to compete against me. In reality isn’t that what we are doing anyway? We are competing against ourselves because we are finding how far, faster, further, we can go. The real competition comes from deep within us and we are striving against the flesh that slows us down and tells us we can’t do it. This is healthy competition. This is where good sportsmanship comes from; we are focused on competing against ourselves, not others. Teamwork is what causes us to become close and strong together. It is a team spirit or team attitude that congratulates the person who beat you in the race and you are genuinely happy for them because you did your best against them. To me winning is outdoing my previous effort and improving. Heck, just being out there and doing something active is a win against the flesh. Our true competition that is healthy competition is going against our flesh. Teamwork is the remedy to competition.
Having a comparing attitude can bring nothing but disappointment in your life. I cannot keep up with the Joneses; they make way too much money for that effort to be even possible. I am me, you are you, and we are all different in every way from other people. God broke the mold when He made me; He broke the mold when He made you. Comparison is nothing more than saying, God I don’t like how you made me, I want to be like so and so. Being comfortable in your own flesh is so important. If you do not like who your are, you have the power within you to change what you don’t like. Sometimes life gives us some terrible things to recover from, and we can spend years healing from those painful experiences. Those negative experiences are gold, because we can learn from them and they make us who we are today. Had I not gone through some of my own personal hell and finally allowed God to show me the positives of my negatives I would not be the compassionate person I am today. The cure to the comparison attitude is to be real, be you. Be happy about who you are.
The last attitude is the complaining attitude. Have you ever met a person who complains about everything? They simply do not have anything good to say or contribute anything positive about anything in life. If you are like me, you want to avoid those people like the plague. They literally suck the life out of you. They can take your positive attitude for life and make you wish you never got out of bed. The cure to the complaining attitude is how you begin your day. Do you get up with a sense of dread for the day ahead, or do you get up expecting great things to happen. I always try to get up with a sense of anticipation that God will use me to change someone’s life. If it’s raining I know the sun is out above the clouds. Starting my day with God is my caffeine for the rest of the day and my drive to continue. Being positive and life giving can lead to an awesome day.
The three negative c words of competition, comparison, and complaining can be removed with one c word and that is compassion. As the verse above says, we need to think of others better than ourselves and not try to make a spectacle of ourselves and let our egos take over our attitudes. An attitude of compassion is thinking or ourselves less than others, it’s offering help, not preaching to people about how to live. Showing love and having a life giving attitude. It’s giving people mercy and grace when they need it the most. It’s unconditional love in action. It’s called being a team player, being yourself, and just being happy for each other.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.