The Losing Competition

I had no idea this thing was lurking inside my soul. On the outside, I am not competitive. In fact, my husband doesn’t like to be on my team for any game (except for volleyball and MadGab) partly because I lack many game skills (like thinking outside the box, knowing pop culture, and anything athletic) and mostly because I don’t care if we win. I never keep score because I’m good if we are all having fun. Honestly. Worst game partner ever. 

So who knew I had a competitive side? An ugly one? Through a series of unfortunate events, brought about my poor choices on my own part, admonishment from someone who knew me well, and inward reflection on WHY I had made those poor choices, I eventually discovered that I had an issue with competition. With other women. And it was hidden so far down that I almost didn’t recognize it for what it was, but I’m so so glad that  God brought it to the surface.

I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty details here, mainly because the issues were in my own heart, and I love my friends dearly and want to keep them. But for the sake of you, and if this might resonate in your own heart, I wanted to bring the issue to light so that maybe you can find some healing for an area that might be hiding and yet nagging at your own soul.

Fact: my significance is in God and God alone. However, the great Deceiver was lying to me, ever so subtly, that my validation came from others. And validation only comes if I stand out, and stand out better than others. Once I realized how important it was to me to receive validation and affirmation from others, I could take healthy steps to stop it. It sneaks in through many forms- what I share on social media, how I throw a perfect party, how funny my kids are, what a gorgeous healthy meal that I made, and the list goes on. I had to stop needing that so I had to withdraw until I only needed my Jesus. 

A friend once told me, right before I got married- “You need to let God fill you. And then your husband can overflow your cup. But your fullness comes from the Lord.”

I had forgotten that, and in my need for approval from others, was “filling my cup” through all the wrong things. And it hurts many people in the long run.

Ever since God brought to light this competitive side of me, I can recognize it for what it is and I can stop it before it ruins relationships, and sucks me in to an unhealthy cycle. As a result, my security is in Him and I am SO much more at peace with the imperfections that make me unique and special and quirky and desperately seeking God on my knees every day. (I’ll be honest, sometimes I’m on my knees cause I’m doing girly push-ups and it’s hard and I want God to make the pain stop, but that’s still part of it). 

Competition has its place. There is a season for it, and a reason for it. But it’s good to recognize when it becomes unhealthy and let the great Healer do His thing and prune away that which so easily entangles…. 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2

“Search me oh God, and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

Check out a post on Holy Competition on Velevet Ashes, one of my favorite blogs!! 

Holy Competition {The Grove: Competition}


8 thoughts on “The Losing Competition

  1. Maggie, you are not alone in this! I discovered my competitive spirit as you describe when I got serious about blogging. All of a sudden I wondered why people were raving about that person’s words and not mine. I’ve written many journal entries crying out to the Lord to squelch this in me. So, thank you for sharing! There is plenty of space for all of our words, all of our personalities, and God will use them all for His glory – no matter how much fame one gets or how many times another is overlooked. He knows just what we need. 🙂 As always, so vulnerable and well written my friend! Miss you!

  2. Maggie, so glad to read this and to have you link up with Velvet Ashes. Like your friend Julie said, we can all resonate with this! Her comment on wondering about why this blog or that one didn’t get as much traction as another persons hit home for me :). And I know we each have our areas that are more tender than others :).

  3. Girl, I so get this. Thank you for being honest and vulnerable. As social media allows us to curate what image we portray to the world it’s so easy to start competing. And it stinks. I’m seriously considering some type of media fast for lent. Thanks for your encouragement.

  4. Maggie, This is an area God is bringing to light for me as well. Identifying the lie that says recognition=value. The truth is that my value comes from Jesus.

  5. Me, too! the competition, blog/social media, comparing, all of it. So I add my voice: thank you for sharing this! An how appropriate that you call it the losing competition, Maggie, GREAT title, sums it up completely. When we are competing for validation – we can’t “win”.

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