To avid sports fans, winning and losing a college or professional football game is the difference between life and death. If you visit campus or a city the day after a victory, excitement, joy and passion are present. Meanwhile, following a loss, bitterness, disappointment and misery reign as local talk radio stations turn into a Monday Morning Quarterback therapy session. While working in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for two years, I experienced these highs and lows daily. As I look back at this period in my life, I wonder if losing a game is worth getting so upset that you stain your own reputation.
To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted,
3 A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up,
4 A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, Ecclesiastes 3:1-4.
The Bible prepares individuals for coping with losing in the passage above. A wise Old Testament king recognizes the need to look at life in a philosophical manner. There is a time for everything in life, this includes winning and losing. Depending upon the circumstance or situation, people will be brought to tears or lifted up by encouraging news. This endless cycle is a painful reminder of trials awaiting you in life. Thus, the better prepared you are for the future, the less likely you will allow a loss to stain your reputation.
Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you. But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, rejoice, so that when His glory [full of radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may also rejoice with triumph [exultantly], 1 Peter 4:11-12.
One of Jesus’ former disciples adds to Solomon’s teaching. In practical terms, Peter warns believers in Jesus to expect the unexpected. Unfortunately, some modern television evangelists are painting a picture that if you become a Christian by placing your faith in Christ, all your troubles and worries will disappear. Meanwhile, other biblical teachers overemphasize blessings by de-emphasizing earthly trials. Subsequently, new converts are amazed and bewildered by weekly ordeals. This likely explains why some avid sports fans will allow a devastating loss to stain their reputation.
by Jay Mankus