Do you ever feel like you are too much? Too competitive? Too sensitive? Too Loud? Too quiet?
Sometimes I struggle feeling like I am too much of something, in my case, it is usually too competitive.
The other day it was a beautiful sunny day outside, one of the first signs of spring and I found my heart rejoicing. Here at Adventures whenever the sun comes out, everyone tries to take advantage of it. We flock out to the local sand volleyball court and spend hours in the sun and play for hours with music blaring in the background.
It’s a light, fun, atmosphere and we always take some time between points to show off some choice dance moves. Most days at sand volleyball, I don’t mind much whether I win or lose. But this past Sunday each missed point was slowly killing me inside. I was having fun, but inside I was getting frustrated. And though I don’t think it showed outwardly (or maybe it did, I’m very much a wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve kind of girl,) my heart wasn’t in the right place.
I’ve Always Been Competitive.
There is something else you should know about me: I have been competitive all of my life. When I was a kid it was my personal goal to win or be the best at everything.
I would challenge boys to push-up contests (now they challenge me– so there is improvement). I would absolutely lose my mind at games like Around the World (the math game where you yell out the answers to multiplication problems) because I wanted to win so bad. I would jump around so much that one time the teacher sat on me so I would stop moving.
If you made it a competition, it was a pretty good motivation to get me to do pretty much anything. It didn’t matter if it was a burping contest, or a staring contest, or a card game– you could count me in. I would even be the first to jump off of cliffs to show I was brave.
Competitiveness is Not Always the Most Flattering Trait.
It was around the age of ten that I realized this wasn’t always the most flattering trait in me. I could be loud and in my passion turn people off. It was around that time that I tried to be less competitive, but the urge to win would always spring up inside me.
Of course, as I got older I matured and was able to control my competitiveness and honestly not care whether I won or lost. Nowadays members of my family will remark on how less competitive I have become. So there’s been growth, a lot of it. Score!
But just because a beast was tamed once, doesn’t mean it won’t get a little wild from time to time. Unfortunately, it got a little wild in my heart this past Sunday.
I came to worship Monday morning repenting for the condition of my heart, for my competitiveness. I asked God to make me less, less competitive, less loud, less passionate. As I prayed for God to make me less over and over, I felt God say no.
Why Less Isn’t More.
He wasn’t going to make me less of anything.
No, God does not function in a system of less. He always functions in a system of more. More of Him automatically means less of everything that doesn’t belong. We may become less in some areas but if those things are not filled up with God, it really doesn’t serve it’s purpose.
In much the same way that you cannot ask for less dark, or less hate, you cannot ask for less of a certain personality trait. It is only when you turn on the light that dark leaves, or when you decide to love that hate evaporates. The presence of light automatically means less darkness.
I cannot ask God to make me less competitive, I can only ask for more of Him. When He gets inside of me, there’s no more room for anything that is not Him. He drives out the dark and my selfish ambition.
The old adage less is more isn’t true. At least, in the case of becoming more like God. More God means less of everything that stands against His character.
God doesn’t want to remove my competition, because that trait in and of itself is not bad. There are plenty of times where my competitive spirit has driven me to try new things, to be bold in the face of my fear, and to be passionate about things that matter to me. But it is a trait that can get out of hand and one that needs to be tempered by God’s spirit.
God gave me my personality traits for a reason, to accomplish and do things that He handcrafted me for.
And I believe He did the same with you. He gave you some traits that might drive you crazy sometimes, but those are God-given traits; put there for a purpose. I don’t think God wants you to be less of anything. He just wants to saturate those traits, so that you may look like more like Him.
So next time you find yourself asking to be less, stop yourself, and begin to ask for more of Him. Because more of Him automatically means less of everything that’s not.
Are there any times in your life like you have felt like too much?