Now on some level, competition and an enthusiasm for winning can be healthy. It can motivate us to do our best and to reach for things we otherwise would never attempt. When it comes to team sports, the desire to win can even bring a sense of unity and a commitment to one another. Yes, as many of you know, I’m a follower of Stanford sports (congrats to the Tree for winning the Rose Bowl!) because I am an alumnus and I certainly believe the Lord sent me to that school for a reason. Most often teams represent cities, or districts, or schools, or even churches, and can serve a community well.
Notwithstanding the above, the passion to win can work against a person’s life. Whenever winning, at its core, falls into a type of personal glory, the desire to win becomes a danger within the self. We don’t have to look outside the sphere of professional sports to find a plethora of athletes – “winning” athletes – living destructive lives. They are driven to be the best . . . fine, but the best for what? For self? For fame? For glory? For money? None of these can satisfy within the human heart and “winners” can easily live for false gods who promise happiness, but cannot deliver.
What is winning? I would like to give you a “Christian” answer, but the truth is that what I am about to give you is the one and only human answer. Winning is doing all things not for self, but for the One who already won on the cross. If you will allow me some freedom, Jesus is a sports enthusiast, but there is only one “game” He is playing. He is playing the game for your soul and my soul that He has already won at Golgotha. He won by losing His life, and He invites you to be on His team by losing yours. He is the only way to win – period.
What do you think? Do you want to be a winner?