8th June 2011

Losers!

“Now this I know: The LORD gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.”
Psalm 20:6 (NIV)

Confession time!  I love opera, in particular operas by Puccini.  The spellbinding music, the drama, the costumes, the romance, and ultimately in any good opera, the melodrama of the tragedy.  I recently read in a programme purchased at a performance of Madam Butterfly that Puccini called his heroines ‘his little women’.  How affectionate, I thought.  Imagine my shock therefore when the writer went on to say that in fact Puccini called his leading ladies ‘losers’!  My romantic bubble burst!  The article left me totally disillusioned, and Puccini has become somewhat diminished in my esteem.

It appears that it is not enough to win today, be it tiddlywinks or Turandot, we have to rub salt into the wound of the defeated and call them ‘losers’!  The days of the joy of ‘taking part’ are over – now it is cool to humiliate the one who doesn’t win.  Often it is done in fun through the jubilation of winning, but still the word is applied to put the other person down, to make them feel inferior or lesser mortals.

Well have I got news for mankind!  According to God’s word we are all losers!  We have all fallen short of God’s glory through our sins. (Romans3: 23).  Not only have we lost out on glory, but we have lost out on eternal life—see Romans 5:12.  But wait, do we hear God shouting ‘Loser’!  ‘Sinner’!  ‘Dummy’!  Coming from the omnipotent God that would be the ultimate in losing!  No, that is not what we hear from God.  The Apostle John tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  God paid the price for our sins that cause us to ‘lose’.

We are no longer losers, but victors, “Now this I know: The LORD gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.” (Psalm 20:6)  King David knew the power of military victory, perhaps some of his soldiers taunted the defeated with ‘losers’!   However, King David knew more than most that God through His infinite mercy provides the spiritual victory essential to everyone.

Since we are heirs to that magnificent mercy, don’t you think we should extend kindness to others, especially when we are in a winning situation?  Jesus thought so.  ‘Loser’ was not in His vocabulary.  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another’. (John 13:34)  Humility is an honourable attribute, as we read in Proverbs 22:4, “Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honour and life.”

Lose is a four letter word – use another four letter word instead – love. So in the heat and excitement of winning whatever activity you are competing in, remember to lose the word ‘loser’.

Prayer
Father, thank you so much for the victory you gave us over the grave through the forgiveness of our sins.  This, made possible because you gave up your precious perfect Son – the ultimate Victor.  Help us to have humility and love when dealing with our fellow man.
Amen

Study by Irene Wilson

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