Americans spent over 25 billion dollars on professional sports last year.
Massive amounts of time, money and energy is spent on athletic events. People enthusiastically go and cheer, clap and watch their coveted teams try to WIN!
While others sit at home spending countless hours in front of their flat screen TV’s waiting to see who will win, “American Idol,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Voice.” Millions take the time to vote and give their opinion on who they believe the winner should be. Countless people wait in anticipation to hear the words … “And the winner is?”
The Olympics continue to be loved by most, and it too brings millions of viewers glued the tube to see which country and athlete wins! It can often be within a fraction of a second that stands between the winner and the loser.
Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”
Is winning the only thing?
When the athlete, recording artist, Hollywood star stays on top, often people adore and love them. The minute they begin to sink in their careers there can be an instant slump in their sales and the fans can turn on them in and instant.
While on top, the winners have the world by the tail as they say, but there’s a problem, it’s fleeting and often never last.
Oh, I highly admire what our Olympians have to do in order to be the best in their field. The sacrifices they make are unbelievable. They have one focus, one goal, one ambition, the Gold medal.
What’s your one ambition? Think about it. What’s the one thing you want so badly that you would do almost anything to achieve it? Do you know what you’re running after? Far too many haven’t slowed down long enough to consider what race their even in.
We get on this treadmill called life, and we start running; running to become winners in school, sports and in our careers. If we can feel successful enough in some of these areas, then often we can feel good about ourselves. These great feelings can sometimes last for a while, but something happens deep within us, and we still desire more.
And the search continues …
King Solomon the wisest man who ever lived said,
I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.—Ecclesiastes 2:11
Solomon had everything the world says gives you happiness, and what did he say it was, vanity and striving after the wind.
Most are striving after something and that something usually in the end is happiness. Our world tells us happiness is found in being a winner.
You should at least be a good in something — art, science, cooking, music, gardening, decorating, fashion, fitness and finances. The list could go on and on. Of course nothing is wrong with striving for excellence in any of these things. What becomes the problem is far too many have these things as their sole ambition.
True winners know that everything in this world is fleeting, everything.
The Real Winner:
1. Passionately pursues Christ.
The Apostle Paul knew his one ambition, and it was to know Christ. He writes:
I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ. —Philippians 3:8
2. Forgets their past.
Maybe you think it’s too late, you’ve blown it and God will never forgive you. Don’t let Satan win. Forget your past. Paul tells us this in Philippians 3:13, “I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.”
Whatever has happened to you, get back into the race that matters.
3. Knows what race to be in.
Did you know you’re in a race? If you’re chasing after the things in this world, be very careful what you’re running after. Daily we’re bombarded with images telling us that the winners in this world are the ones with fame and fortune. Is it?
God’s Word says,
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.—1 Corinthians 9:24-25
How are you running? How’s your race going? Paul is so focused, so determined that Christ is his life, he penned these words in a prison cell in Philippi. Wouldn’t you say he’s a real winner!
Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. —Philippians 2:14-16
Oh my friend, don’t let this world tell you you’re a loser. Don’t. Choose to cling to God and what His Word tells you. This life is short; remember who it is that really makes the difference.
Our world is desperate for those who will shine brightly in this dark world. People who are passionately following Jesus Christ, shining their lights in this ungodly world, are truly the winners!