Thursday, May 27, 2010

Down With Competition!

I’ve been studying pride lately and pondering over ways to get rid of it. Long ago I realized how detrimental to spiritual health pride is, but I have been unsuccessful at getting rid of it. Pride just keeps resurfacing in me. I think pride is going to be a life-long battle for me! And I don’t like it because I realize that it is the root of all other vices.

But the other day I came across this from C. S. Lewis, "Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone." (Mere Christianity, p. 110). This gave me some new thoughts to ponder and I’ve begun to think of ways to apply the Truth Tools to destroying the feelings of competition within me. Competition was Lucifer’s downfall in the premortal life and has been a big problem for me all my life.

So . . . I’d love for any and all ideas you have about getting rid of a competitive spirit and thoughts on using the Truth Tools to do that.


Laresa said...

Isn't some competition good.. or should we get rid of all it.

SuSu said...

Good question.......I'm going to have to ponder on that one! I feel competitive by nature myself. But for me the competition is internal. In other words I don't feel I compete with others to be better; I compete with me…….a striving to be a better me if that makes sense. For me trying to be better than someone else is fruitless as each of us has our own set of challenges, advantages, disadvantages, etc., so there is no way you can achieve first place anyway. The other thing is as you say competition was Lucifer’s downfall and that is my favorite part because I’m already one up on him. I have a body and he never will…….bummer for him!

Dani said...

I like to think that Lucifer wants us to think that there is only 'room for a few' in Heaven. Truth is that it is open to everyone (and there is room for everyone). He likes us to think that the things of this world matter i.e. appearance, popularity, possessions. They don't; what matters is that we develope charity. Next he wants us to think that we, by ourselves, can work our way to Heaven thus separating us from each other and getting us to ignore and not understand the Atonement. The truth is that we don't get there by our works (the works vs grace debate) or alone. We must all help each other and can only get there by helping each other. So when I have hard feelings towards someone (such as the woman who took my husband), I like to think that she is my sister, that I knew her in the preexistance, and that it is my job to love her. The biggest thing I like to think (truth) is that the fight is against evil and Lucifer, not against each other. That those that are doing 'bad' things to us need to be rescued, not abandoned. Perhaps that was part of C.S. Lewis' message in the latest movies based on The Chronicles of Narnia.
So finally, my suggestion is that when we catch ourselves feeling competitive in any way, we focus again on the Atonement, developing charity, and think of others as if we are responsible for them in getting them back to Heavenly Father through love. Then, of course, daily prayer and scripture study, temple attendance, service, etc... is what takes truth deeper and deeper into our spirits.

Rebecca said...

I'm not sure how to get rid of competition. I do know that I hate smack-talk. I absolutely hate it when people or teams trash talk to each other. I wish competition could just be fun. I don't understand why some feel the need to cheat, or to be angry over losing. If it is a contest to see who is better, why not be happy to see where you are in the ranking, and be pleased for the ones who are better? I think if there was more of a friendly competition attitude, then competition would not be such a bad thing. When we are unkind to others in a quest to be the best, I think that is when pride rears its ugly head. Joseph Smith loved to Stick Pull (Pull Sticks?), so I think a little competition with a good attitude is beneficial. What is considered to be competition today is not good!

Perhaps if we rethink competition to "striving to improve personally", we can eliminate the negative competition?