How Competitive Are You?


Mark Miller, VP of Chic-fil-A wrote in a recent blog, “Perhaps more than anything else, broadly and accurately defining your competition will impact your thinking. When Coke decided a few years ago, their competition was not limited to other soft drink manufactures, rather, their true competition was all the beverages consumed globally on a daily basis by every man, woman and child, it changed their view of their business. Today, it’s not just about Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite – Coke has over 500 brands and sells more than 1.9 BILLION servings a day. This would not be the case if Coke thought Pepsi was their only competitor.”

Who or what is your competitor? Are you competing with a sibling, a co-worker, a fellow student, a church staff member, the local mega church or a neighbor? This type of competing also involves comparing. Perhaps your eyes and your mind are on the wrong person(s). The Bible reveals there is a thief who has come to rob, steal and finally destroy you. As long as the evil one can misappropriate your focus and attention on another person, he can keep you from focusing on who your real competitor actually is. Satan is competing for your soul along with the souls and spirits of the ones you feel you are competing with. Competition through a friendly game of tennis is great, but competition that leads to comparison with others is a huge negative. In fact, Paul said that we are unwise to compare ourselves, either we will become prideful or suffer from feelings of insignificance (I Corinthians 10:12).


Encouragement, Leadership, Small Groups, Training, Uncategorized

Encountering Risky Business Through the Four P’s

images-6 (Note: I am sending this blog out early due to taking some vacation time next week.) Wanting to follow-up on last weeks post, I thought it appropriate to share four types of risk to steer clear of. I am unsure where some of these originated from, but I have used them for years in attempting to help others in their personal life. I have urged many to stay away from: people of risk; places of risk; possessions of risk; and processes of risk. What do I mean?

Often as a young believer, it is difficult to discern who to hang out with, old friends with bad habits or all new relationships. Initially, it might be advisable to stay away from those persons who are risky to your personal growth and change. Identifying persons of risk can eliminate being talked out of new life patterns. A place of risk is a pretty obvious one. In other words, for now stay clear of those establishments that allowed and promoted your former life-style of sin. Possessions of risk are a bit tougher to discern or even do away with. In Acts chapter 19, it was discovered that many new believers had been involved in sorcery. The new converts made a large bonfire and threw their sorcery scrolls into the fire. They eliminated many possessions of risk. Today this may include books/magazines, music CD’s or even computer games.

Lastly, it is important to consider processes of risk. Process is the connection to our thoughts. For example, prior to becoming a Christian our process of thought when being verbally attacked might have been inordinate anger or running away. Both became familiar and established life patterns, but both of these can be risky due to the fact that we might not be processing truthfully. As the word of God is received and acted upon, our responses will begin to change because our thought processes encounter truth and truth will set us free from former life patterns of risk. Which of the four P’s are you working on?

Encouragement, Small Groups

Grocery Store Lessons

Have you ever noticed the difference in your grocery bill when you go shopping for food hungry as compared to shopping right after you consumed a satisfying meal?  When you’re hungry, everything looks good followed by lots of extras thrown into your shopping cart.  When your gut is full and satisfied, nothing looks very special and rarely do items jump out at you.  Noticeably, you are not fooled by the colorful posters or the, “Buy three, get one free” offers.  “Three…I don’t even want one,” you tell yourself.  You have no appetite and so grocery shopping is simply a necessary exercise.  Without an appetite, your brain is not sending signals to your eyes which otherwise would be busy scanning to and fro for what might taste good immediately.  Your mind knows your stomach is full and satisfied and the need for sustenance is turned off.


Now let’s say your private sin issue is lust of the flesh and you find yourself in the middle of an adult bookstore.  Your eyes are taking in all of the skin exposed in magazines and movies and your brain is in overload recording all of the images.  It is a feeding frenzy of lust and your flesh is hungry for more.  You go deeper into the store where you find the “best of the best,” feeding your soul like it is starved to death…emaciated.  But back up.  If you were “full” rather than depleted would you even hunger for such filth?  Would you have sought out such a seedy, unclean and defiling place?  If your spirit was full of the spirit of Christ and you fully knew His love, approval and acceptance would your lust-filled hunger be satisfied and would this need be turned off?  You and I choose to fill these natural appetites with God or with ungodly, sin-filled desires.  Proverbs says an empty stomach drives us on (Proverbs 16:26b).  What drives you?  What are you passionately hungry for?


Encouragement, Small Groups

Onions and Garlic – They Hate Me

images Yep, it’s true. These two smelly, pungent vegetables of the same family have officially announced war upon me and have combined forces to bring personal misery. It happened somewhere around the age of 40 or 45. For some unknown reason, like an allergy, I was done with them and they were done with me. We mutually agreed to stay away from one another. The belching and the indigestion finally caused me to concede and say, “No more, that’s it…I quit.” And I have to say; I do not miss either one of them. I have now officially developed distaste for these little, insignificant white bulbs and renounced their very loathsome existence. They’re no longer on our grocery list and I won’t give them a second look in the grocery store, shunning them, as any proper shopper should do with my condition. It’s fully their fault, they brought this on themselves and they deserve such disrespect.

This distaste that I have developed is similar to the distaste that each of us need to develop with wrongdoing. Like certain foods, what I personally react to may be different from what you react to. For some it’s pornography and for others it’s drinking too much alcohol. Maybe for you it’s gossip or overeating. Announce a full-on war. Combine forces in your soul, spirit and flesh to hate this thing that so easily besets you. Stand up and declare that you are finished with their repulsive hold and the mind-troubling thoughts. Agree to stay away from it, hate it and run in the opposite direction. You’ll find that you will not miss it or the effects it had on you. You will find certain freedom; you’ll deal with less guilt. Allow it to sicken you and shun it, not giving it a second thought or a second look. You will defeat it and overcome it with the power of Truth on your side. (Please read I John 3:6-10 and Colossians 2:20 & 21 today.)