1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
possession of a strong desire to be more successful than others.
“a lot of people get wrapped up in competitiveness and jealousy”
the quality of being as good as or better than others of a comparable nature.
“the competitiveness of the agricultural sector”
Day 1: Winning Over Others
Read Luke 10:38-41 three times
First of all, I feel everyone of us has been Martha at some point or in some situation. I can see myself working hard and becoming bitter inside as I observe a slacker on the sidelines reaping the rewards while I’m “having” to slave away.
I think you know what I mean. It’s those moments when that internal dialogue has two voices encouraging you to get angry which ironically causes you to scrub harder without realizing it.
And yet, we don’t stop working. Instead we side lip a sarcastic remark intent on continuing to prove that we are better and proceed to slave a way.
Ugh. When the flesh rises up, it isn’t pretty.
1. What was Martha’s role in this scenario and how did it differ from Mary’s?
2. Do you ever find yourself weighing the work God has called you to do with the work God has called someone else to do?
3. How is Martha being competitive?
4. What is she competing for?
5. When we are competing for someone’s attention or heart, what do we have to do mentally to the other person to “stay in the game?”
6. What do you have to do mentally to yourself if you sense you are going to lose and therefore withdraw yourself from the “game?”
Day 2: The Model of Paul
As a person made of the flesh, embarrassingly I admit that I suffer from competitiveness. It’s a small sliver in my heart, but it exists. I hate it. It bothers me. It is stupid and I’m praying, begging, pleading even for God to remove it. It rises up, even when I don’t want it to. “Go away! I tell it. I don’t want you in my heart.”
Thankfully, it doesn’t consume or control me. Therefore, I can encourage, promote, and share with those that unknowingly trigger this rise in my heart. But the fact that it exists bothers me.
My pep talks to myself run like this.
“Erica, God is calling you just like he is calling others to advance the kingdom.”
“Erica, God doesn’t love you or them anymore or less.”
“Erica, your calling is real. Don’t second guess it because you can’t see all of it.”
“Don’t be afraid. You are still special and unique…..and so are they.”
“Erica, remember the time God did …….”
Read 1 Timothy 1:1-11 once and verses 6-11 twice.
1. How did Paul encourage Timothy instead of compete with Timothy?
2. In your ministry, church, or work place, who can be your Timothy?
3. Reflect on your past and identify the specific people who have made you feel threatened and moved you into compete mode? Analyze what they have in common and try to identify what are you specifically measuring yourself against them with.
Day 3: What if?
Read Luke 9: 43-50 Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time
1. How would you describe the importance of Jesus’ message?
2. What were the concerns of the disciples and how does that connect with our own competitiveness?
3. Does it surprise you that this group of men struggled with this sin?
4. If competitiveness was allowed to control the dynamic of the disciples, how would that have impacted the kingdom?
5. How can competitiveness impact the collective mission of Christians?
Day 4: Heart for Purification
Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13 twice
1. Did Samuel hesitate to go when sent?
2. What concern kept him from going immediately and how did God respond?
3. How does that make you feel when you compare it to your worries/fears and prayer requests to God?
4. Why was David chosen?
5. Do you find it odd that his family did not recognize the value of his heart?
6. How does this bring you comfort when you feel overlooked, or your calling is unrecognizable to others?
7. Although David was called, why do you think he was not made king at that moment?
8. While you are in the midst of your calling, what do you feel God is providing you training for and what areas of your heart need further purification?
Thank you for loving us in our sinfulness. Thank you for willingly working with our heart and waiting for us to be ready to be moldable. You are the only surgeon who can do such a work.