Are you one of those people who have a competitive nature? For some people, it doesn’t matter what the situation—playing a game, arm wrestling, seeing who can eat the most tacos—these people want to prove that they can do it the best.
What they are saying is, “I can outdo you.” It’s like the old song that says, “Anything you can I, I can do better.”
While there is nothing wrong with being competitive and competing, we need to remember to be gracious in both victory and defeat. But Paul instructed the Roman Christians to have a little competition of their own when it came to showing love.
The New King James translates Romans 12:10 this way: “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.”
The expression “giving preference” means “to lead the way.” Newer translations, such as the English Standard Version, say, “Outdo each other in showing honor.”
Sometimes we tell a person, “You have really outdone yourself.” Whether we are being sarcastic because of another failure or encouraging because of success, the expression indicates taking an action to a whole new level.
Paul was not just telling them to outdo themselves, but to outdo each other. Take their honor to a whole new level. Find the person who is the best at it, and find a way to do it more.
This is not about bragging rights or being the best, but about being known as people who show love and honor. Our motivation should be our love for God and love for each other, the ones to whom we are showing honor.
To all you people with a competitive nature, I propose a contest. Let’s see who can outdo each other in showing honor.