|“What good is it for a man to gain the |
whole world, yet forfeit his very soul?”
Some people treat life like a competitive game. But, life’s not a game. It’s not a competition. It’s not a win or lose situation. Or, is it?
John Mark the Evangelist, includes these words of Jesus in Mark’s gospel, as recorded in Mark 8:36:
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his very soul?
Men tend to strive to win a prize. Psychologists tell us that men are naturally pre-wired to be competitive. Women are generally not pre-wired to be competitive. Instead, women are generally pre-wired to be collegial. Thus, while men will compete with each other to achieve some goal, women will tend to work together to achieve a goal.
No doubt Jesus understood this when he spoke these words. He saw around him men who were competing with each other to gain status in their community, to gain positions of influence and importance, to gain the upper hand, to forge ahead of their peers, to vanquish their foes, and so forth.
Even among his twelve disciples, Jesus observed a tendency for them to compete for His favor. He knew that Kingdom business would require collegiality, not competition.
I wonder today how many churches see themselves as competing with other churches? Is that because men often hold the positions of power and influence on the church governing board?
The Kingdom of God is not a place for competition. Rather, it is a place where all believers should work together for a common goal: to share the good news of God’s love, as expressed in the life-transforming work of Jesus.
As we begin a new day, let us men curb our natural male drive to compete. Let’s learn from our sisters in Christ how to get along with each other and work together for the sake of the Kingdom.
And, let’s encourage our sisters in Christ to develop their gifts and apply them to Kingdom work in that collegial way they know best. Together, there is much we can accomplish to bring glory to God.