Dear saints, I’m glad to be back with all of you🙂. I trust that the Lord had been protecting and blessing you. The world advances itself by bullying, threatening, coercing, and protecting itself. People are inherently self-centered and self-seeking. They always look out for their best interests. This in itself isn’t wrong because one can’t love their fellow humans if they don’t love themselves to begin with (Mark 12:31). However, the world and all those in it take it to the extremes and are fearful of losing their clout, edge, businesses or even families and spouses to competition. People fear competition because they are afraid of losing what’s valuable to them. But, the more they try to hold on to it and protect the more they lose it. How can one keep what they cherish? You may not like the answer, but one has to lose oneself to Christ to find their true self.
Let’s look at one verse, Matthew 10:39. These words of Christ turn the world’s thinking on its head. The world advocates self-discovery, self-enrichment, protecting one's interests, shielding and hiding from competition, destroying adversaries, begging/bribing/cajoling rivals and so on to achieve one’s goals. It tells you to buck up, take it on the chin, roll with the punch, and keep pushing to achieve your goals. This is in stark contrast to the Lord’s teaching that one has to surrender oneself entirely to Him to realize their true nature. In other words Christ is simply stating that one has to lose to win. To win God’s way, one has to lose one’s worldly nature and way of doing things.
This losing, unproductive way of doing things is evident in the Church as well. Churches and online communities, just like businesses, are afraid of losing their flock to poaching. They try and eliminate competition by preventing third party advertising, commercial logos, restricting interaction with others, and literally brainwashing their flock into thinking that other denominations and entities are pure evil. How did the Lord Jesus face competition? Let’s look at Mark 9:38-41. In this narrative we read about the Apostle John wanting Christ to stop a man who was driving out demons in His Name. In plain English, John was warning Jesus about competition and the potential loss of flock and tithe revenue. Christ rebuked Him by saying “do not stop him” and “those who are not against us are for us”. What did Jesus know about how to handle competition that we don’t? Not only did He know God’s way of doing things, but He also knew that His fame and popularity were actually increasing through others!
The world teaches us to win by shunning competition, while Christ encourages it. We are taught to do anything to win, while the Lord teaches us to do everything to abandon ourselves to God. We can’t win by relying on our worldly ways saints. To truly win in this life and the next, one has to first lose ourselves and ways to the Lord. He’ll then bless us with His nature (Galatians 5:22-23) and His eternal victory (Romans 8:37-39). By following the Lord we’ll win in a way that’d be the envy of the world (Job 42:10, Mark 10:30). Amen.