Second-Place Chili

Thursday, June 27, 2013
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Old Rugged Cross"1 (Lyrics)

Philippians 2:3 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (NIV)

One year, members of a singles' church group that my son was attending planned to hold a chili contest. A lady from the group volunteered to make some chilli, but no one else was signing up; then, my son asked me to participate. When I heard that the winner was to receive an award of twenty dollars, how could I refuse! Hence, on the day of the contest, my son took the big pot of chili that I had made, while I patiently waited at home to hear the verdict.

That evening, my son returned home with my empty pot, but unfortunately, I was not the winner. Instead, my chili was deemed "second place". Later, I learned that the winner went home with her pot half full, while mine was empty! It seemed kind of funny to me, so I thought: What is wrong with this picture? My family still laughs about it, but seriously, through this experience, God has taught me some important lessons.

First, things are not always how they appear. I made the assumption that the contest was not fair based on the fact that my competitor still had chili in her pot, but perhaps I am missing other facts. For example, maybe her pot was bigger than mine. Secondly, the more I thought about it, I understood why this group wanted their member to have the award: I'm sure that she needed the money (as well as the left-over chili) more than I did. Naturally, I think it was the right thing to do. Thirdly, today's verse reminded me of the importance of putting others before ourselves, contrary to the world's philosophy.

Consider Jesus' own words:

Matthew 20:27 – And whoever has a desire to be first among you, let him take the lowest place. (The Bible in Basic English – BBE)

What a challenge for believers to apply this teaching to our daily lives! If we are willing, however, then God will grant us the wisdom to change selfish attitudes.

Therefore, now that I have seen the situation through God's eyes, how can I complain? Second-place chili is not so bad after all!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, through the power of Your Spirit, help us to live our lives according to Your Word. Teach us humility and enable us to obey Your commandments so that we may serve You by putting others first. This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, in Whose blessed name we pray. Amen.

Forward this devotional     Share this devotional on Facebook     Like PresbyCan on Facebook

About the author:

Lori Ciccanti <>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

Send your feedback to the author

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    First place today Lori! Good one. Blessings.

    A hard lesson for all of us Lori. Good lesson.

    Thank you for blessing me with your devotional today. Well done.

    That was Simply Great.

    Such are the vagaries of life.

    Loved this one, Lori. It is so applicable to all of us, especially to me!

    Lori, This is a wonderful story. Everybody has finished second or even last at something in their life. I know I have. When are you making some of this great chili? will you let me know!!

    Lori, this is an awesome story you shared with us today! Thank you and I agree with you on the lesson learned and now we need to practice putting this lesson in our lives. Thank you

    Dear Lori,
    Thanks for sharing this story with us. Oh, that we can all learn that 2nd place is not so bad after all. Keep writing.

    Very good point — been there myself.

    Thanks again for one of your great stories. It really relates to our understanding of how we should look at always being a servant.
    How about your chili recipe, I would like to try it too.

    Hi Lori,
    Thanks for your devotional today. As a sore loser in any competition, especially Scrabble I needed the lesson you taught today. Hopefully in future when I am losing by the usual enormous margin, to the champion I married, I shall take my next tiles without any overt manifestation of my chronic aggressive-player propensities. To lose gracefully will require a bit more prayer.
    Have an “every day with Jesus”.

    Another great devotional. Rings a bell for me.
    Without you and the others, I would miss so many scriptures that are brought to my attention.
    Know there is this Texan who reads FATHER’S words, through you. I thank you for sharing.
    May FATHER smile while HE rains down blessings of health, happiness & prosperity on you and yours.
    In JESUS name I ask.

    As we say in Chicago, youse wuz robbed!
    I grew up on the southside of Chicago.
    When I first began reading the Gospels, I came across the story of the unjust judge (Luke 18)
    I knew this judge! He sat on the bench in Chicago and fixed parking tickets for a price!
    Anyhow, I live in Texas now and I am sure your chili would win 1st place down here!
    God bless & keep on writing,

    Dear Lori,
    Thank you for your Chili devotional this morning. I needed an uplift and it brought back a Chili experience I had many years ago. A young man in our church was leading the PYPS and I offered to make a dish for their event. Chili was their choice. I was new in Canada and didn’t know there was a difference in Canadian Chili and California Chili. Anyway I made mine and my pot came back to me empty and with smiles. There wasn’t a prize purse but that young man is a pastor and every time I hear him speak or drive by the church and see his name posted there I have the biggest prize I can imagine. God has a sense of humour.
    I wish you continued blessings in your writing ministry.

    Lori, Second place ain’t so bad when it’s chili, but first place in our lives belongs to Christ who guarantees joy in our relationship with Him. He always loves us unconditionally, even when we falter. Thanks for this devotional. Blessings.

    Hi LORI!!!
    Bible in Basic English, sounds intriguing. Where did you find that version?
    Thanks for writing to us through PresbyCan Daily. I’m glad you sent chili to that youth meeting and eventually wrote about how the LORD got your attention through the startling outcome of the “contest”.
    Continue in His Blessing!

    Hi Lori, I went through a similar disappointment when I was in high school. I had just met the Lord at what they call the mercy seat in the Salvation Army. It was a difficult test but the Lord gave me the grace to accept the unfair decision which robbed me of a trip to England.
    His way is always the best for us if we can only see it through His eyes.

Next Post

PresbyCan is a community of faithful, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-centred, God-honouring Christians.