A Culture of Competition

Timothy Keller, in his book Counterfeit Gods  points out “that in traditional cultures, personal worth is measured in terms of “honour.”  Honour is given to those who fulfill their assigned role in the community, whether it be as citizen, father, mother, teacher, or ruler.  Modern society, however, is individualistic, and bases worth on “dignity.”  Dignity means the right of every individual to develop his or her own identity and self, free from any socially assigned role or category.  Modern society, then, puts great pressure on individuals to prove their worth through personal achievement.  It is not enough to be a good citizen or family member.  You must win, be on top, to show you are one of the best.”

How unfortunate that we have lost the virtue of doing things, just because they are honourable and right.  It is the proper thing to do, so it is done.  Knowing that we are doing what is right, in itself, should be our reward.  Desiring to be an honorable person.  In our society building lives upon honour enables all to be honourable, if they just choose to do what is right and live honourably.  However since many don’t receive worth because of living a life of true honour their lives are built upon competition.  Competition implies trying to get our worth and significance from being better than others.  This is always at the expense of others.

Proverbs 4:8 says, “If you prize wisdom, she will make you great.  Embrace her, and she will honor you.”

Lord Jesus help me to walk honourably before You, to fulfill my responsibilities in my role.  Let me be a person who consistently does what is honourable in all situations.