When I was in 5thgrade my best friend was Bobby Cook. Bobby was a smart guy and usually got an A in every subject. We had a little bit of a contest to see who did better on quizzes and tests. Most times Bobby did. But quite often I did better than Bobby. Having Bobby as my best friend made me smarter student.

But in 6thgrade Bobby wasn’t in my class. So with no one to compete things changed. I usually did better than the other guys, but something strange happened. I didn’t like feeling smarter. As weird as it sounds, I started getting answers wrong on purpose so I wouldn’t get the best grade. I know I shouldn’t have let it bother me. But without Bobby, I had little incentive to be a better student.

Have you ever had someone who challenged you and made you better. Maybe it was another athlete that you competed against. Maybe it was at work and a co-worker

What about competition in church? God encourages us to “…consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25). I like how the King James translates this by saying “provoke one another.” Rather than provoke others to do wrong, Christians meet to provoke each other to love  others and do good.

Competition can bring out the worst and the best in us. I hope we can use competition to make us a better Christian. I’ll talk about this on Sunday.

This Sunday, July 28, I will be continuing a summer sermon series, The Grace of Giving. The message this week is “Giving To Provoke Others” from 2 Corinthians 9:1-5. In this passage, we discover that Paul used the Macedonians to challenge the Corinthians and the Corinthians to challenge the Macedonians in the area of giving. We will discover some great lessons that we can apply to any area of our life. I hope you will be “provoked to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Join us this Sunday @ 10:30 a.m.

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