Community-Building: Respectful competition.


Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.

Philippians 2:3,4

Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself.


Tryouts are one of the most difficult things in school. You want to make the team or the choir so you get up the courage to try out. If you make it you are so, so happy. If you don’t, you are crushed. I remember those feelings as a kid. And, I’ve parented my kids through the highs and heartbreaks of tryouts. But as adults we learn that we are almost always in a competition of one kind or another. Especially when we work, we have goals to reach and expectations to meet. When we are fortunate to work in an atmosphere of encouragement and empowerment, we are glad for the opportunities to grow in our own abilities and to help the organization. So how does humility fit into all this? Humility is an attitude that we adopt toward the people we work with, work for, even those we compete against. It isn’t necessarily a wimpy giving up or giving an advantage to others. It is an understanding that we are all made in the image of God, and we are all sinners in need of a Savior. We may be better basketball players or singers, but that doesn’t mean we have more value in the eyes of God where it counts the most. We treat those with whom we compete with respect, we compete fairly, secure in our value as children of God and heirs of the kingdom.


How well did you listen to the story?

Q. What team do Liz and Spike try out for?
A. Basketball.

Q. What does Julia talk Lucille into trying for?
A. Cheerleading.

Q. Why doesn’t Spike make the team?
A. Because of his lack of teamwork.

Q. Why does Julia get mad at Lucille?
A. Because Lucille makes the cheerleading squad and Julia doesn’t.

Q. What are Liz and the others forgetting?
A. Humility.


This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.


Is competition bad? What does the Bible say?


The Bible doesn’t say a lot about competition. Competition is not bad. But how we compete and treat those we compete against can be bad—offensive to God and damaging to our witness as God’s children. And that’s where humility comes in. We are told to seek the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:24), Proverbs 11: 2 tells us that wisdom comes with humility, and Proverbs 18:12 tells us that humility comes before honor. Jesus assures us that when we humble ourselves we will be exalted (Matthew 18:4, 23:12; Luke 14:11, 18:14, 1 Peter 5:6). The memory verse for this episode explains what humility is—it is considering others better than ourselves. Maybe we are better basketball players, but we will still encourage and promote those who we play with or against. We recognize that like us they are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and deserving of the same opportunity that we have to tryout, to play, to win. It takes humility to promote good for others. But that just what Jesus did for us.


Are you trying out for something at school? Will you demonstrate humility even as you do your best to compete?
This page can be found at