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Overcoming Comparison and Jealousy: How Can I Cultivate a Spirit of Unity and Love in the Sport Industry?

People putting their hands together in a circle.

The sport industry is naturally competitive. On the field or court, athletes and teams compete fiercely to win the game or match. In the offices and meeting rooms of athletic departments or professional sports teams, the competition level is no different. Professionals working in sports have a desire to “win” in their jobs by receiving promotions, being recognized for their efforts, landing a new job at a premier institution, and so on.

For Christians working in the sport industry, this competitive spirit within the workplace can be difficult to navigate. On one hand, it can be a very positive thing to be a competitive person who strives to do their best. On the other hand, a highly competitive spirit can lead to sinful actions such as jealousy and dissension. In this blog, we’ll dive into Scripture to see how Christian sport professionals can overcome comparison and jealousy and instead cultivate unity and love within their workplaces, despite the competitive spirit that is so prevalent in the industry.

Working for the Lord

Typically, comparison and jealousy arise from an internal desire to please and perform for others. If we desire to gain the approval of bosses or peers, it quickly becomes a self-centered mission to be better than those around us to impress leadership.

In Ephesians 6:5-8 and Colossians 3:22-24, Paul commands slaves to obey their masters and to work as if they were serving God, not people. Slavery was common in the ancient world, and Paul encouraged Christian slaves to work hard not to impress their masters but to ultimately do their work for the Lord.

Paul’s advice is pivotal in striking a healthy balance between hard work, and the commands for believers to be agents of unity and love. If we are fixated on working for the the Lord, as opposed to working for human masters, then our aim will be to please Him in all that we do, instead of seeking to please man.

In this pursuit to work hard for the Lord, our desire will be to align ourselves with His will, which naturally will create a spirit of unity and love within us.

The first step in seeking to overcome comparison and jealousy is to work hard for the Lord, not for human masters, which creates room for you to be unified with the people in your workplace and to truly love them as Christ calls us to.

A Greater Calling

It is natural to have a desire to be competitive, especially in the industry of sport. However, it is important to understand that as Christians we have a calling that supersedes our desire to be competitive. That calling is to be unified with one another as believers, and not allow anything to destroy that unity.

In 1 Corinthians 1:10, Paul commands the church in Corinth to be unified with one another. “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

In the context of this verse, Paul was informed that some divisions arose in the church of Corinth about who each member of the church follows. Some said that they followed Paul, others said they followed Cephas, and others said they followed Apollos. Paul addresses these divisions right away in his letter to the church because it is of the utmost importance that the church be unified.

This passage directly applies to the topic of competitiveness in the sport industry. While it isn’t necessarily wrong to have a competitive spirit, it is not as valuable to be competitive as it is to be unified. Paul didn’t want the church in Corinth to be in disunity for any reason, but rather commanded them to be perfectly unified in mind and thought.

You might be wondering, why is it so important to live in unity? In John 17, Jesus prays his famous prayer for both His disciples and all future believers. In John 17:22-23, Jesus unveils why living in unity is so important.

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one- I in them and you in me- so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

Jesus’ prayer in these verses reveals to us as believers that the world will know that He was sent by God the Father and that God the Father loves His disciples, even as He has loved His Son, Jesus Christ, by our unity.

So, what we learn from this prayer is that our calling to unity is so important because it will reveal to the non-believers around us that Jesus Christ was sent by God and that we are loved by God.

Therefore, given our calling in Matthew 28:16-20 to make disciples of all nations, our calling to be unified is directly linked to our calling to make disciples. So, as Christians working in sports, it is vital to understand that your calling to live in unity is so much more important than being competitive.


In the sport industry, competitiveness is an expectation. Sports are competitive, and whether you play the game or work around the game, it is normal to want to be competitive. However, as Christians, there is a higher calling in our lives than to allow our competitive spirit to lead us to acts of the flesh, including jealousy, disunity, hatred, slander, gossip, etc.

In an effort to honor God through our competitiveness, Christians working in sports should live out these two Biblical teachings. The first is to work hard and compete in your role in sports for the Lord, and not for any human master. By doing this, the Christian will seek to please the Lord in all that they do, as opposed to seeking to please people.

The second is to live in complete unity, not allowing competition to disunify us from other believers. By doing this, Christians can be witnesses to the truth of Jesus and show non-believers the reality of the gospel message that we so dearly hold to.

It is not wrong to be competitive, and certainly, a competitive spirit can help you be successful as a Christian working in sports. However, it is so important to be reminded that we have a higher calling as believers, that should drive us to care less about winning and losing and more about honoring the Lord in all that we do professionally.


If you’re unfamiliar with Uncommon Sports Group, its programs, or its ministry, get connected through the form on our home page or check out the Uncommon Podcast.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to hear from you!


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