The spirit of rivalry is born of a negative attitude toward one another and a need to justify our feelings toward individuals we regard as rivals or whom we are jealous of.
Jealousy is subtle; it seeps into our lives and emotions, eventually morphing into rivalry, an uncontrollable force. Jealousy narrows our perspective and allows us to see only ourselves without regard for others, allowing this to occur.
Recognizing our feelings of jealously toward others we consider competitors is the first step toward breaking free from the spirit of rivalry and becoming the people God created us to be. Rather than being envious of others who have what we want, we should work hard to achieve the recognition we seek.
This spirit of rivalry can be found not only at work, but also in our homes. We know about the biblical narrative of Leah and Rachael, who had a sibling rivalry. This happened as a result of a misunderstanding. Leah felt neglected by Jacob, but God allowed her to have children, and she reasoned that Jacob would love her more if she had more children. Rachael, on the other hand, did not have as many children as Leah, but Jacob adored her, which led to competition. This teaches us to concentrate on our own abilities rather than comparing ourselves to others. We must embrace that we are who God created us to be and that we are sufficient. When we compare ourselves to others, we diminish our God-given abilities and uniqueness.
When we strive to follow in the footsteps of others, we allow the spirit of rivalry to take control. We don’t always know what path the other person traveled to get to where they are or acquire what they have. Knowing that we cannot experience another person’s journey helps us avoid jealously and stay on our own routes. We must appreciate others for who they are and the path they have traveled to get to where they are. This enables us to work together in order to achieve our goals.
When we alter our thinking patterns, we modify how we feel and act, and as a result, we are able to serve others without being competitors. By overcoming our competitive nature, we will be able to push our abilities to be more effective around each other.
“Your dreams thoughts and desires, are just as important as mine are”
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:3-4
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. – Proverbs 14:30