I would like to reveal the spiritual position of minds that indulge in competition. It is one of domination and self exaltation. Competition requires that participants prepare themselves in every way to defeat the opposition, to incite within themselves the mindset of a warrior whose main objective is to overcome their opponent. They must intentionally engage their minds to utilize the vital component of deception, hoping to confuse and misdirect the opponent's strategy. Where there are rules, there is inevitably the temptation to break or at least bend them in order to gain any advantage they can to help accomplish the desired result of winning. And of course there is the inevitable arguing and fighting over questionable tactics of players and judgments of the officials.
Competition establishes high expectations and sets us up for disappointment should we suffer the loss. One argument I've heard is that this teaches us how to overcome defeat. Doesn't life provide us enough of these opportunities without having to create them ourselves? Jesus seems to think so. (see Matthew 6:34) The reality, though, is that we indulge in sporting events and games to satisfy our carnal desires. Practiced habitually, competition develops a particular character that stands in stark opposition with the Holy Spirit. In as much as you can not serve both God and worldly wealth, it is impossible to have the mind of Christ while exercising a spirit of domination and pride.
The evangelical church has progressively acquiesced to the endeavors of the unbelieving masses. This is nothing less than a compromise of the Holy call on their lives. Becoming all things to all men does not infer that the church participate with the world; only that we become familiar with it that by all means we might save some. (1 Corinthians 9:22, 23)
Do you now consider me a killjoy? In the movie "Chariots of Fire", the main character told his sister that when he runs, he feels God. It wasn't the competition he was interested in, it was the exercise of a natural God given gift that made him feel close to heaven. If he sought a race, it was for the fellowship of other runners, not to out run them (though he may). When I write, I feel God. When I read what others have written, I feel God. When we enjoy all the good things that come down from above, from the Father of Heavenly lights, without being involved in beating up the competition, we have tasted and seen how good the Lord is. The natural gifts of a Christ follower should, like the heavens themselves, proclaim His glory and majesty to the world around us.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."
(1 Corinthians 9:24,25)