"Winning and Losing"
by Frederick Drummond
Right up front I want to say that winning and losing is a normal part of life, contrary to what some might suggest. Truth be told, we do both all the time. No one is exempt from this! I don’t know why people make such a fuss about either one of them. As far as I am concerned, they are overrated. After all, winning and losing isn’t even what life is about. The way some carry on, you would think they had never won or lost anything in their lives, or for that matter seen anyone else do so either.
Do you know that some of the greatest minds of our day ascribe their fame to neither? They rather point to more important virtues, such as bouncing back, rising above their circumstances, going against all odds, refusing to give in to failure, and standing against becoming too impressed with their successes. This being the case, I don’t really understand why we get so uptight about them. Perhaps it’s an ego thing or a guilt trip or even an acceptance problem. I don’t know. Whatever the case, I think it’s high time we told the truth. In the scheme of things, neither failure nor success amounts to much.
Why don’t we accept the fact that everyone fails, and no one succeeds all the time, and not even God is surprised by this? Wasn’t it He who came up with the idea of a Grace Covenant, saying to all that it contained better promises than the Law Covenant, so that we could have peace from the pressure of having to live perfectly all the time? Doesn’t the Holy Bible call one a ministry of condemnation, and the other a ministry of grace? I say this with tongue in cheek, because we all know that this is the case, and that God understands our frame. Jesus said, “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do’” (Luke 17:10). So much for taking the credit for winning all the time. Furthermore, it was Solomon who in Old Testament times under the Law Covenant with all of its icky picky rules who concluded, “Do not be overly righteous, nor be overly wise: why should you destroy yourself? Do not be overly wicked, nor be foolish: why should you die before your time?” (Ecclesiastes 7:16,17).
I hope you are beginning to get the big picture. You are not going to stand before God one day and hear Him ask you about how many times you won or lost. What He is more interested in is this: Did you “fight the good fight, finish your race, and keep the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7)? Now here is something better to worry about, if that is what you’re into.
Those who make winning and losing the hot issue live miserable lives. They have missed the whole point and turned the human experience into a competition, which we all know it is not.
By all means, aspire to go to the top of your game and choose rather to win than lose. Do your best, but don’t get so caught up in winning and losing that you make them the bottom line in life, because they are not. The measure of a man is not based on how often he wins or loses. They don’t define a father or a mother, a son or a daughter, a husband or a wife, or for that matter anyone that really matters to us. What is most important is that we learn to walk in Calvary love and follow after the Spirit in all things by faith.
Winning and losing are overrated. Ask anyone who has ever won anything or lost anything. The feelings of success or failure soon pass. What lasts forever is faith-based. These are the goodies that will make up the cherished crown that we will cast at the feet of Jesus one day in heaven. We have all heard the saying, “Only one life, and it will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.” This is good advice for everyone, and it beats the winning and losing game hands down.
Do you want to please God? The Holy Bible tells us how: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Faith gets God going. It motivates Him to get involved. Perhaps we should talk more about faith and less about success and failure. The latter are ego builders that lead to self-righteous living or even pride, and the former, God-honoring that leads to spiritual living and victory. No one likes being around people who are always talking about their successes or other people’s failures. There is something wrong with those who live this way.
Go ahead and choose which you want to live by. As for me, I am going to go with faith, because I am turned off by the yo-yo lifestyle that getting caught up in the winning and losing game produces. Faith is calm. It is steady. It is consistent, and it sees through God’s eyes. What more could anyone want?
Winning and losing isn’t a fun game to play. Real people can see through its shallow veneer. I am persuaded that it is for the insecure who need something to talk about to get the attention off their frailties. Real Christians find their security in Christ and love to talk about the faith life. Winning and losing doesn’t impress me. Does it impress you?