Tuesday, March 4, 2014

For the Win

"They are playing to play, not playing to win."
I heard this phrase on the radio last night as it was used to describe an under-performing college basketball team. This analyst assessed their level of mediocre success by accurately describing their lack of instinct to work together to see victory. They are a young team that is stuck on playing the game on their schedule so that the can get to the next game. That doesn't describe a team with a winning mentality, but one that is trying to make their way through their season.

This can describe a lot of of us if we're honest. We don't always apply our energies and focus in a way that brings success, but do things that allow us to check an item off our task list and consider it accomplished. There are probably some common areas for all of us to fail:

  • Attending church-even giving our time & money-but never engaging in a life change beyond Sunday morning.
  • Paying special attention to our spouses on an anniversary or birthday, but not doing much more the rest of the year.
  • Letting our children know how much we love them during big life events, but not through the day-to-day affirmation they desperately need.
  • Spending dedicated time in prayer when life's circumstances bring us unexpected turmoil, but not really bothering with it otherwise.
  • Working hard enough at our jobs to keep the paycheck coming, but not in a way that directs people to God's calling on our lives.
  • Contributing to our community in moments of crisis, but not investing on a regular basis in the people we share life with.

Playing to win takes teamwork, a dedicated commitment, and regular sacrifice. It's also the only formula for healthy families, happy marriages, deepening spiritual relationships, and a thriving community. Make sure you're making the commitment to play to win.

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