I grew up Mennonite. I have strong non-violence, pacifist peaceful roots. I learned growing up that yielding lead to peacefulness. (although not always in my own heart).
Yet I see in my husband and 2 of my children this desire to compete. I really feel it's not as negative of a character trait as I had previously believed.
Nathanael and I enjoy a good Qwerkle game. Selah loves the challenge of clue. I can't tell you how excited we were when the local thrift shop had new games for sale. Our friend had given us a gift to use for ourselves, and this is how we used it:
When I think about playing a game with someone who is a good competitor, it is an enjoyable thing. Having someone push me to do my best is challenging and fun.
I personally need to look at life this way more. I was recently on a medical mission trip. One wonderful woman took me under her wing. She as a pastor's wife said everyone needs a Peter, Barnabas, and Timothy. We need someone to mentor us, someone who runs alongside us, and someone who we are mentoring.
I have a mentor, and she spurs me on to be greater. She knows when to challenge me, and when to encourage me. I think this type of challenge is God given. I need new eyes to see this as holy; as a way to make me more like Jesus.
Nathanael and I run along side each other. This is challenge in itself. We have learned about tandem riding. When we got our first tandem bike, the man warned us. He said that tandems either make or break a relationship. We learned.. through the making and the breaking. Unity is key! My husband challenges me more than anyone else.
I say the challenge is the greatest this may be only partially true. When someone is learning from you; that is a challenge of a different kind. Someone who is following you watches everything you do. If they admire you this is extra hard. My children watch my every move. This pushes me to be my "best" self. I could tell you that having children has been the most life changing thing I have ever done.
Overall I am so thankful that God blessed me with things that challenge me to grow.