If you don't have a 'win-at-all-costs' attitude you can't really survive - I know some would immediately disagree but basically that's so true.
No matter were we are - at sport, in the office, school or even the gym if we aren't operating at peak performance levels, we not really considered a 'player'.
That mindset exits pretty much everywhere - competitiveness and striving to be the BEST at all costs. We see it everywhere - from the soccer field to the board room - the "power suit" and the "high heel brigade" will leave you eating their dust if you don't keep up with the game and 'shoot a few goals' of your own.
Pretty hard playing field when you take a good long look at the players and what you are up against. Their expertise and obvious confidence can leave you speechless.
They never seem to get flustered, always so cool and calm in a crises. They are always playing their "A" game.
So what do we do? Do we look for opportunities to 'tilt the playing field' in our favour - just to even things up a bit of course.
Insider information, rule bending, sucking up to the right and influential people, working all hours of the night and day, not because you have to but just to beat the person ahead of you to the post.
Steroids/drugs in sport, endless hours at the gym - it's all competitive and all fair game. Whatever it takes to be No 1 - that's for me and that's the goal!
If we buy into the win-at-all-costs mindset, anything goes - right? we can and must do what it takes in this cut-throat world.
Well - hate to be the one to say it but No! As Christians none of that is right for us - absolutely none of it.
In Proverbs 11:3 it says "The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the falseness of the treacherous will destroy them."
"Treacherous" WOW! strong word!! - God looks at the "win-at any/all-cost"as treachery. Treachery at the worst, cheating at the best.
Proverbs 20:7 says. "A righteous man who walks in his integrity; how blessed are his sons after him"
So what God is saying here is that integrity and fairness leaves a legacy - a path, if you like, for your children to follow. Now we all want to leave a legacy so what will yours be? - "integrity" or "it doesn't matter who you walk over as long as you win".
If we look deeper, the Bible is choc-a-block full of references to Godly behaviour, integrity and how to live according to God's will in your life.
God thinks it is far more important to live with these traits rather that winning!
1 Chronicles 29:17 - "I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there."
So our God actually rejoices when He finds integrity in our hearts even if we don't 'win' according to the worlds standards.
Let me say this though - integrity and truthfulness are not just 'good habits' thumped into us by caring Mums and Dads. Long lasting and faithful integrity, fairness and truthfulness can only come from a heart and soul changed permanently by God's Spirit.
It is only through the leading of the His Spirit that we can ever hope to show these traits in our lives permanently
Now nobody is perfect - I am not referring to that, but integrity is a determination of the heart; a heart changed by God to reflect His character.
So where are you on the 'win-at-all-costs' scale? - What are you prepared to do to get that goal, win that contract or come out smelling like a rose?
We all need to take a minute, inhale deeply and see what traits Jesus showed while He was here with us and let them be our yardstick and prop.
Jesus was filled with God's spirit which enabled Him to live a life full of integrity and truthfulness. Our lives need to be filled with the same Spirit, given to us freely by a loving, merciful and truthful God.