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The Hidden Blessing of Losing

Over the last few decades, there has been a movement to shield young people from losing.  Whether its schools moving toward pass fail grading, youth sports attempting to not keep score or the idea that everyone should get a participation award, this notion is actually hurting children in the long run.  Whatever the reason for this trend, teenagers need to experience the hidden blessing of losing.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, James 1:2.

Losing often serves as a barometer, highlighting deficiencies that you possess.  Perhaps, you are not good enough.  Maybe, others wanted it more, worked harder than you or are simply more talented.  Either way, any type of loses provide life lessons to strengthen your character.  Some where between your last defeat and the next competition, time has a way of revealing what led to a loss and what you could do in the future to insure victory.

Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, James 1:3.

One year ago, my son James was heart broken after finishing 4th in the state in the pole vault.  Six months later, that pain reappeared, missing the medal stand once again by one place at the winter track state meet.  However, these loses fueled a desire to not let this happen again.  Thus, one week ago James not only reached the summit, winning the state pole vault title, he also led his track team to a state championship.  In the disappointment of defeat, individuals will find the hidden blessings of losing.

by Jay Mankus



Good Grief Charlie Brown

Beginning in the early1950’s, the Peanuts Comic Strip became a main stay in American newspapers.  As the popularity of Charles Schultz’s creation grew, television brought this animation to life in the 1960’s, known as the golden era of Peanuts.  By the 1980’s, holidays and Charlie Brown specials became an annual tradition  for families.  This is where children first saw Lucy pull back a football that Charlie Brown was about to kick, causing him to fall to the ground in anguish.  Thus, the expression, “Good grief Charlie Brown” was born.

Today, there is a different kind of pain parent’s experience.  Unrelated to sports, this infliction is derived when their own children begin to date individuals who have a questionable reputation.  Despite their initial warning, teenagers have a mind of their own, often neglecting the advice of mom or dad.  Blinded by love, lust or self-fulfillment, most proceed into a relationship, doing whatever it takes to love or be loved.  In many cases, a person blends into this new environment, compromising who they are and want to be.  As a result, I can hear adults mutter, “Good grief, Charlie Brown!”

According to Genesis 26:34-35, Esau’s choice in a wife, Judith the Hittite caused Isaac and Rebekah great distress.  Instead of seeking someone with a similar beliefs, standards,  and values, Esau goes outside of God’s family.  Although her physical appearance is not mentioned, its likely that Esau choose external features over character.  Like distant relatives, Esau’s decision to marry a Hittite leads him away from God’s favor, corrupted by a nation full of idols.  Once stuck in this relationship, the only barometer left was his conscience, “good grief Esau!”  Unfortunately, its too late for those who are gone, dead and buried.  Yet, for those of you still clinging to life, break free of sin’s chains so that you will bring peace and not grief to your family.

by Jay Mankus

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