To review, here are 5 markers of a competitive mindset:
3) Fight for competitive advantage
4) Goal: Winning
5) Outcome: You win when others lose
Over and against this mindset is what I believe Romans 12 calls Christians to as members of the body of Christ. While a competitive mindset ultimately stems from pride, a complementary mindset is birthed from humility.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Here are 5 markers of a Complementary Mindset:
Instead of being centered on yourself, the one who seeks to complement others thinks of others over themselves. Paul exhorts us toward this mindset in Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
In a complementary mindset you focus on others as teammates instead of opponents. You seek unity in relationships, and begin to think “I only win if we win.
3) Fight for Unity
Instead of fighting for competitive advantages to set yourself above others, you fight for unity. You die to things that would bring separation, distrust, or disunity. You subvert your own desires, preferences, and interest for the sake of the community.
In the context of the church, the goal of a complementary mindset is that Jesus would be glorified and that more people would come to know Him. With this goal in mind, a “win” is not when you personally receive glory or recognition, but when the mission gets accomplished.
Unless we win, you lose.
Scripture explicitly describes the church as a “body.” As a body, we must complement each other in order to function properly. To do this, we must die daily to the competitive mindset that our culture subtly massages into our souls. This death starts and ends with humility.
On this passage D.A. Carson says,
“Paul’s goal at this point is to encourage each Christian to use his or her gifts energetically and properly and not to worry about the gifts others may have, or the way in which they may be using them.”
… For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…