Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Which Is of Greater Importance: Compassion or Competition?

Misunderstanding gentleness and compassion as negative traits was a real problem in Corinth. How is that same problem true in your community? In your church? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1616).

Hebrews 12:1 New International Version (NIV).

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Mark 9:33-35 (NIV).

They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

In America we highly value competition in our sports, in our economics, in educational achievement, in virtually all aspects of life.  Some would flat-out argue that you cannot have a compassionate economic system without a significant measure of competition disciplining and restraining economic aggregates.  It is also held that competition is good for creativity. Yet, research has shown this is not the case and that cooperation is more valuable for releasing creativity than competition.  Surely one thing is clear, even with competition complete domination spoils the game for everybody. So if we should ask--"Which is greater: compassion or domination?--the answer would be much easier to come by--domination is exceedingly acerbic to the human soul and consequently to society.  Thus, in religion we say that even God shuns domination by giving man choice and free will. There's a sense in which God could not be righteous if he eviscerated the choice of man making ethics meaningless.

Once Jesus' disciples were arguing about which of them would be greatest. Jesus sternly rebuked them saying that not power and prestige but service must prevail for abundant life. An allied necessity--creativity--will derive from teamwork and service; the main competition always being the forces of light vis-à-vis the forces of darkness both within and without the heart of man.

Print Page