Monday, February 6, 2017

February 6, 2017 - How We Play When Losing...

Saturday was a long day as my daughter Faith’s basketball team was in their conference tourney that was all played in one day. They ended up playing 3 games that day, which also means there was the down time in between. It was an exciting day as they won 2 out of 3 and took 3rd place (and – a little daddy bragging – Faith was selected All-Tourney.)

Some would not think that 3rd place is worth writing about… yet this is a team that started the year 0-5. But these young gals and their coaches refused to be defined by scoreboards and records and just kept working/playing hard, turning their season around to finish 7-6. They learned that attitude and effort are more important than points and records.

Where this was very evident was the game they lost in the tourney. They were facing a team that simply put was much better than them. The opposing team was more athletic and more skilled. On the scoreboard it got ugly quick! This was a game that after the first quarter it would have been easy to just give up; yet our girls busted their tails, played hard for 4 quarters, and were able to walk off the floor with heads held high!

I bring this up because I am concerned in today’s culture that even as believers we are consumed with the “scoreboards” of life. It seems that everything is geared toward an almost “heaven on earth mentality” that focuses on victorious circumstances or making everyone feel good by telling them they are beautiful… (our value is not found in being beautiful in a mirror, unless it is the mirror of God’s Word and our value found in Him!)

I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble but a major part of growth in the Christian life involves how we handle it when we “lose.” Are we going to stay faithful even when the “scoreboard” is not in our favor? News alert: Life is very hard at times!

I love the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego… we always hear about their incredible faithfulness and trust in God, and that is an awesome truth. Yet there is a verse in Daniel 3 that shows they were committed to faithfulness not because they were focused on victory but they were focused on God!

Daniel 3:18 (Stated after proclaiming that God would deliver them from the hand of the king)
But if not (if we “lose on the scoreboard”), let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

Set your heart and mind to be faithful to the Lord, even when circumstances are tough; remembering that God is good all the time! I love a quote from author Philip Yancey who stated, “God and life are not synonyms.”

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