The winning streak of a loser in life
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Faith related
All around us we see the books: how to become successful, or rich, or have friends and influence people, or be a super attractive person with good credentials. There are also myriads of books in the esoteric department: create your own heaven, connect to your guide, have a wonderful life after death, et cetera. There are more books than can be counted on the erotica. All this material can be summarized with: What a wonderful world a person can create for himself! If one is not super wealthy in ten years time, or super fit, or super something, will one be able to contact an author and ask for your money back? No, he/she will say that one didn’t try hard enough, or didn’t go to enough trouble. The onus rests upon the reader himself to attain the results.
What about the loser, the person who doesn’t seem to have the self discipline, perseverance or strength of resolve to follow the advice in the books or on the DVD’s? Is he lost, with no hope, destined to spend life in ignominy? Is he the person they spoke about when they said: ‘it is better to have tried and not succeeded, than not to have tried at all’? It depends on how one sees the world. Jesus told us repeatedly ‘it is better to be a loser in this world, than to try to gain your own life (do your own stuff) (Matthew 10:39; Mark 8:35; Luke 13:30, 17:33). What Jesus meant is this: it is not so easy to become a winner through self effort, but God has a different approach. He is not only powerful, always present, and knows the future, but He is willing to carry the responsibility of a person’s life if it is entrusted to Him (‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight’ - Proverbs 3:5-6). That is the glory of the loser: instead of struggling through self effort, which he in any case cannot do, he surrenders his life to Jesus Christ. Then God becomes the Potter and he is the clay, but a potter can only work with malleable clay (that means that the person is willing to obey God). By rejecting the dream of the self-made man, he becomes willing to subscribe to His plans. He provides an eternal heaven, waiting for us. The self-made man cannot provide a heaven after death that makes this life worth living.
The devil told Eve that by disobeying God, she would be like God, knowing good and evil. That meant that she would no longer be dependent on God, that she would no longer trust in His wisdom and obey his commands. She could decide for herself what was good and bad for her and live independently of God. With that the devil instituted a program of self effort in human beings that has been going on ever since. What he did not add was that man cannot see into the future and does not know the outcome of his choices and actions. For that he is dependent on God’s explanations, warnings and wisdom. He did not tell her that life on this side of the grave is very short. The real issue is to make the effort to enter eternal life after death.
Only God knows what He prepared for us ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him, but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit’ (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). It is therefore very important to make friends with the Holy Spirit, to understand the life of health, peace, wealth, and love for God in eternity. This is the inheritance of the loser; in a hundred million years he will still be going strong. Being a loser doesn’t imply that a man will be a miserable creature here under God’s auspices. Otherwise what would the following verse mean? “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Tim 6:17).
Living life God’s ‘loser’ way leads to much greater success than the self-made man achieves. For example, when Moses tried to be a freedom fighter on behalf of the Israelites, he landed in a desert for 40 years. When he submitted to God’s way of freeing the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, he was hailed as one the great men of antiquity. Saul did not obey God, David did. David was willing to become a nothing, and in due time God used him. Losers eventually win, since they do not have to struggle to prove themselves, but can (with the help of the Lord) concentrate on what God wants them to accomplish now and in the life after death. Losers can have fulfilled lives here, accomplishing great dreams, reaching wonderful heights, but it will be with God’s help, and according to His guidance and plan. It is infinitely more foolproof and safe than trying to devise one’s own plans. The people at the tower of Babel experienced this principle: when they tried to stick together and make a name for themselves, they found that without obedience to God nothing eventually is a success. Success spans both lives, the temporary and the eternal.