Winners and Losers

Read Romans 3:1-31; 7:1-25; Matthew 25:31-46


“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

SETH MACFARLANEThis past Sunday night, for the first time in years, I actually sat down in front of my T.V. with my wife and daughters and watched the Academy Awards. I don’t normally let them stay up that late; however, this year was special because my family loves the theater and this year, Les Miserables was up for a number of awards, including Best Picture.

We sat there through all of the awards, watching the song and dance that was in place to keep us entertained through what would have otherwise been an extremely long and boring show.  And there were moments where we shouted with joy and clapped anytime Les Mis or another movie we liked won an award, particularly when Anne Hathaway won the award for best supporting actress. No doubt, she deserved it.

But, by the end of the show we found out that, after sitting there for three and a half long  hours, our favorite movie did not win best picture. What a disappointment that was in and of itself; however, to make it worse, the host and another woman sang what they called, “The Loser Song” naming the movies, directors, and actors that were “the losers.” That is what it is all about in our society, isn’t it. That is what we teach our children is the number one value…WINNING.

At the end of the show, my daughters’ excitement turned to glum expressions of regret. “I feel like I wasted my time,” my one daughter stated. My other daughter asked, “Why didn’t Les Mis win?”  For them, the message was clear…you either win, or you’re a loser.  If you are a loser, then it wasn’t worth the effort. That is is the message they, and I am sure countless others, have picked up from our society at large.

Sports are performance based. If you win, you make the big bucks…if you lose, you end up skewered on page seven of the sports section. I remember, prior to his being recognized as an elite quarterback, Eli Manning was constantly being ripped apart as a loser when the Giants lost. Whether it be sports, theater, film, music, school, or work, we are always seeking the greatest performance. Anything else is considered sub par and unacceptable.  According to the world, you’re either a winner or you are a loser.

And this ethic certainly goes beyond Hollywood and the wide world of sports; it can even be found in the church (just look at how we measure up the value of our ministries). Often times, we are very much merit and performance driven. Yet, God does not measure us by such standards. God does not look at how much success we have attained, nor does God judge us as winners and losers.

What God judges us, is based off of whether we took it upon ourselves to care enough to try. If we try and fail, so be it. At least we tried. At least, in our heart of hearts, we cared enough to do something.  It does not matter how many awards or accolades we’ve received, nor does it matter how many times we’ve succeeded or failed. What matters is that we try and have the faith to keep on trying in the name of the one who calls us to believe that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.


In is better to lose while trying than to win at trying nothing at all.


Lord, teach me that you in you, there is no such thing as losing and give me the courage to keep on trying. Amen.

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