The basic meaning of the word emulations is to emulate (copy), desire to equal or exceed, or ambitious rivalry. In religious circles emulations lead to unholy zeal, adopting a bad cause, or supporting a good cause by bad means. This has led to torturing or persecuting those who support or practice a religion different than their own. This is also true in political circles.
The worldly system operates on the plane of ambitious aspirations. Not only is this true in sports and business but in nations vying for world supremacy. To equal or surpass is almost an obsession in our present society. In a personal way it even affects ones standard of living, modes of travel, attire, comforts, ones pride in having the latest electronic gismos, and the list can go on. It results in a struggle that is seldom satisfied.
In many cases emulations are espoused from the evil fallen nature of humankind which leads to hurt feelings, jealousy, evil imaginations, and enmity. In turn, these trigger other works of the flesh such as hatred, variance, murder, and etc.
There is an emulation that is not altogether harmful where one strives to succeed, achieve, or excel; but the objective in these desires can make the difference. Such striving has led to better products and ways to an easier lifestyle. The heart’s condition, being evil or good, determines the direction ones works will take him in perusing his ambitious aims.
Some Scriptures which will help up put this subject into a proper biblical perspective are from the apostle Paul’s writings in Second Corinthians, chapter ten, verses 12, 17, and 18.
“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
“But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
“For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”
Walter Lofton is a local pastor at the Church of God in Seth and can be reached by email at email@example.com