It's not about winning or losing. That said, most of us have heard and or experienced the philosophy that there can only be one winner and if you are not the winner then you must be the loser. To be called a loser can be devastatingly hurtful especially if such an insult is meant to belittle. Even as I have mentioned such a term, images may possibly come to your mind picturing someone or some memory that reminds you of what its like to be a loser.
What I wish to convey in this entry concerns the term “finished.” Now what in the world does loser and finished have to do with one another? I would like to draw your attention to II Timothy chapter four and verse seven. Paul the apostle is describing his ministry and what that ministry has cost him. He has experienced much pain and suffering at the hands of those with mindsets not willing to hear his message.
He compares this ministry journey to a race. Can you imagine watching a number of contestants lining up side by side waiting to hear the signal to begin running the race? Marathons are a little more than twenty-six miles from start to finish. Usually to be chosen to run in the more prestigious marathons, one has to qualify by completing the qualifying marathon race in a given time. There are a lot of people who begin this race, not to win but just to finish.
As I was giving thought to the idea of running such a race, it occurred to me that living life on this planet with all of its challenges, successes and disappointments can certainly cause one to give consideration to not complete the race. Not long ago I heard of an older teenager that struggled with life. Those struggles became so intense that a personal decision was made to end their life. I don’t believe she finished the race.
What I hold up for consideration pertains to the idea that winning or losing is not the goal. The goal is finishing the course. I hold up the idea that Jesus the Christ has already won the race. He was and is triumphant. He won this race on our behalf. Now as we live our lives hopefully our emphasis will be on finishing the race. You are already a winner because of Christ Jesus. Utilize that awareness to encourage those whose mindsets have distracted their attention from remaining in the race.
As Paul indicated, “I have run the race. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith. And now there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord will give as a testimony of his righteous judgement. The righteous judgement of God is forgiveness not separation. So run the race not to win but to finish!