What does it mean to be a winner?
When we were kids, the rules were simple. Beat the other team. Score more points. Run faster. Practice harder.
Then you walk by the other team and say “good game” and slap hands.
When I was a young adult, I thought the rules had stayed the same. If there were no points to score, then I had to just make people think I was a winner, that I was smarter or better or more talented. Isn’t that what the whole exercise of interviewing for a job is all about? Convincing someone that you are a winner, without actually performing?
It kind of goes hand in hand with the whole “self esteem” movement, this think like a winner thing.
It’s even in the church isn’t it?
What does it take for a church to win?
Beat everyone else. Have a bigger team. Attract more people. Have better programs and a more impressive show. Think like a winner and you will be a winner.
The problem is that eventually, we start to get this itchy feeling even though we think of ourselves as winners. We start to feel a little phony. We start to not buy our own hype. Because being a human being on planet Earth isn’t really about winner. Being a Christian is about death to self. And just because you’re winning at the game of life, it doesn’t make you a winner.
The rest of what Sydney Harris has to say is that a loser to consumed with the appearance of expertise.
It starts with ourselves, you know. Everyone else buys our hype. But we don’t have to. We don’t have to pretend that we have ourselves all put together. We don’t have to believe that we have made it. We can believe that we still have a lot to learn.
That lots to learn part is what makes life worth it.