Losing stinks! But winning isn't everything

November 24th, 2015

Everyone loves to lose; it always feels great. NOT! Losing stinks (or insert a more appropriate word)! That’s what Zachary Hougland must have thought when his cross-country championship was taken away because he helped a struggling competitor.

After crossing the finish line and celebrating with his team, Zachary turned around to see a runner on his last leg: “This guy was about 20 meters from the finish line and he looked awful. His face was turning white and he was holding his chest. He looked like he was going to fall.” After shouting for others to help, with no response, Zachary ran to help him.

A good deed punished

Sometimes we try to do a good deed and the world just won’t let us. Zachary helped the ailing runner a few paces and then let him cross the finish line on his own. It was a gesture of dignity, respect, and, yes, even compassion. Then Zachary’s first-place finish was effectively negated by those enforcing the rules. The community was outraged and urged the Iowa High School Association of Athletics to reverse its decision. Unfortunately, the legislative body chose to uphold its ruling and continue to enforce the rules. Nevertheless Zach said if he could do it all over again, he would—because he believes he did the right thing.

The right thing

Doing what we want and doing what God wants are not always the same thing. Furthermore, doing the right thing is often not clear. We may end up hurting ourselves or others, even if that wasn’t our intention. Studying Scripture helps us learn so much about how God wants us to live, especially through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We are called to shed our selfish desires, wash some feet, and put aside our personal victories.

Question of the day: What things are more important than winning?
Focal Scriptures: Luke 9:23-25; Philemon 1:4-7; 1 Corinthians 9:23-25

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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