Posted by: arieliondotcom | July 2, 2013

Killing Competition 2 Chronicles 22-23 (See also 2 Kings 8-9)

Killing Competition
2 Chronicles 22-23 (See also 2 Kings 8-9)

We have already covered the history of what’s going on in this chapter in 2 Kings 8-9. So we won’t repeat it here. But by now you should see a recurring theme. The people who come to power try to destroy the rest of the royal family, but GOD always saves someone. The theme of this lesson is killing competition.

In our Scriptures it’s literal. Whole groups of siblings are murdered to keep the throne away from them. The latest example is evil queen Athaliah of Judah murdering all of her grandchildren…Or at least trying to. But little Prince Jehu is hidden by his aunt and in the house of GOD by the priests for 6 years.

But there’s a lesson in this history we can apply to our lives. There’s a competition that is a “stretch your muscles” competition. It focusses on us trying to do our best in our role and being inspired by others to do better. It might be free enterprise in business, it might be a chess game or a footrace.

But there’s another competition. That is focussed on the other and wanting them to have less and yourself to have more. This is where competition becomes covetousness, for wealth or power, or relationships or reputation. That kind of competition will kill you.

Even the apostles were subject to this second competition. They were constantly arguing about who was or should be the most pre-eminent among them. JESUS repeatedly told them that the greatest was the one who was happy to be the least. That it wasn’t about having authority over each other but to enjoy the power to love they felt through Him.

Without Christ in our hearts we focus on the other person and though we’d never admit it even to ourselves we hate them. We want them to have less. With Christ in our hearts we are encouraged by the Holy Spirit to outdo each other in doing good. We focus on ourselves and running hard after GOD not against the competition.

Cain killed Abel because he was jealous that Abel had a better relationship with GOD. Instead of seeking a better relationship with GOD, he killed his brother, the competition. The kings of Judah and Israel regularly killed their competition for the throne, just as the Caesars of Rome did.

But when competition came between the apostles and when Paul saw it in the fledgling Church, the Spirit’s answer is to kill the spirit of competition. Love one another and seek the best for them. Pray for them.

When JESUS is telling Peter about Peter’s future martyrdom, Peter is hardly paying attention to news of his own death. He doesn’t ask about it or who will take care of his wife. Instead he’s focused on fellow apostle John following behind Peter and JESUS. Peter asks, what about him?! If I have to die, will he, too? He doesn’t want the competition to have more life than him. But JESUS says, “What is that to you? You follow Me!” The irony is that we know this story because John tells us. And this is the same John who repeatedly emphasizes that HE is the one JESUS loved!

Don’t be like the evil queen and her contemporaries. Don’t try to kill the competition because something in yourself will die. Seek to serve. Stretch your Spirit to compare only with yoursel and how much you can do for others in Christ’s Name as we follow Him. Let Christ forgive you, crucify the competitive spirit in you and let you have a new life setting personal bests in blessing others.

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