I want to win

Human beings are very complicated—from the wondrous engineering of our physical bodies, to the impressive capability of our mysterious brains, to the unpredictability of our emotions. God created one very impressive, yet very complicated, being when He created each one of us. Each and every human being is a unique individual.

The Fall, in the Garden of Eden when two perfect human beings chose to disobey our creator, caused the purity of creation to become broken. From that very destructive day up to today, creation continues to suffer brokenness. Our perfect bodies are broken; we suffer disease, heartbreak, and eventually death. No such suffering existed in the Garden prior to the Fall. There were no tears of sadness, there was no death.

As humans have evolved over the past six thousand years, while inhabiting this broken earth, we have made great strides. Great progress has been made regarding the quality of life, conveniences, medical services, and digital technology. We have built enormous, bustling cities and we jet across vast oceans to vacation in tropical paradises. Unfortunately, it appears that the majority of us in the more developed nations of the world believe that life is about winning. We have chosen to make our lives a series of races—races that we need to win.

This pitiful condition spans from our homes, to our families, to our jobs, and beyond. It is an endless competition and we are driven to win. We want the nicest house in the neighborhood. We need a pool in the backyard that is fancier, a flowerbed that is more colorful, and grass that is greener. We strive for the next promotion at work and compare the size of our office to the guy’s down the hall. Heaven forbid if our car is more than five years old or our children aren’t wearing name brand fashions to school. The competition can even become ridiculous. Here is an example—not letting someone pass you on the road because it makes you feel like you are losing. Losing? Losing what?

So what is my message in all of this? Simple—the message of the bible is about serving, not winning. Jesus Christ has already won! His win is our win, if we choose to follow Him. So, as followers of Christ, we need to be more focused on serving with the realization that we have already won. Christ offers us the gift of living eternally with Him and our Heavenly Father—Yes, we have definitely won!

We need to shift our focus; we need to surrender to the guidance of our Heavenly Father. King David gives this advice in the bible, “Entrust your ways to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will act on your behalf. He will make your righteousness shine like a light, your just cause like the noonday sun. Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Do not be preoccupied with an evildoer who succeeds in his way when he carries out his schemes.” (Psalm 37:5-7)

Surrendering is not easy, it is a process that will take some time. But when you succeed with surrender, Jesus promises this, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30) Now, this is great news! Our daily races are demanding and they do wear us out. Yes, we are weary and burdened. Jesus promises to lead us to rest for our souls. We can forget about all the competition and races, in the end, they are all in futility anyway.

So, as we follow Jesus, the Apostle Peter offers this advice, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:8-10) So, here is this enormous challenge—we are to love others, we are not to compete with them. We are to offer hospitality and serve others as instructed by our Heavenly Father. By doing these things, we give ourselves and others a small glimpse of what the Garden of Eden was like before the Fall. And maybe more importantly, we get a little taste of what eternity in Heaven will be like!