Spirit of Competition
Let's face it. Men are competitive. The struggle is often evident in conversation. The next speaker on the subject will have MORE detail and MORE of a handle on things than the last speaker.
At my workplace, it has gone something like this. A guy says that his friend has a new car, say, a black Honda Civic. The next guy adds that it is the souped-up version, and "charcoal" not black. The next knows the engine size. The next knows the consumer rating in the car magazine. The next states that that magazine is unreliable and in the pocket of North American automakers' interests...
Get the picture? It is the never-ending quest for "alpha dog". It started with young boys at play in the sandbox.
The other night at a men's Bible study I saw the same phenomenon, and must admit that I fell victim to the same temptation. The foundation text was from the end of chapter 8 in Romans, stating that nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which we have in Christ Jesus. The question was asked whether adversity had ever caused us to doubt God's love. The topic of chastening (Hebrews 12) versus punishment came up. Several of us started to wax eloquent on our understanding of God's purposes in suffering. (Job 29 and 30; Paul in 2 Corinthians 11 and 12)
Regrettably it all became quite "showy". The meek gentleman who was facilitating our study must have been shaken by the discussion's take-off and trajectory.
That worldly spirit of competition had done a number on us! I now choose to let it go.