What does winning at life look like, really? In a culture of hashtags, most of us are familiar with #winning or #winningatlife . Sometimes these little community builders are used in jest or sarcasm and others, they are used as an honest cheer for small and great victories alike. I’ve used both. Plugging in the crockpot AND turning it on? Yep, #winningatlife . Unwittingly pulling out the biggest pair of granny panties from my purse while standing in line at a Mexican restaurant, trying to figure out what on earth that endless piece of fabric was and realizing to my horror that no, it was not actually an extra onesie, it was my own UNDERWEAR!!!! Yep cue the mortification, raucous laughter with my husband, and the eye rolling internal sarcastic whisper: #winningatlife . But what about those honest cheers for winning life’s battles? What does that look like, really?
God unlocked something for me about this recently. My win is not necessarily paired against another person. It’s paired against angels and demons and principalities of the air. My mentor, Jayme, taught me this on a phone call recently as I was recounting a tough situation in which I crave victory for others. “You don’t need to win, Emily. They do. You’re already winning.” Wow. That opened my heart and mind up for such a perspective shift. In what feels like a relationship of constant friction, my desire for victory doesn’t mean that I’m the defeated party. Rather, it means they are not winning quite yet. I am already winning because I’ve experienced victory by Christ over this shadow dance through unhealthy territories. Defeatism doesn’t help the situation in the battle; hope does. With this a new attitude slowly, but steadily comes to my heart: God wants all people to win. He offers the same method of victory to every person. It’s a choice left to each individual going through life’s battles whether to lose or win. I choose to win. And I pray with hope instead of despair for those who are not winning.
So, winning at life? What does that look like, really, is the question I pose.
Winning at life looks like doing the right thing even when it’s the hard thing.
Winning at life looks like choosing joy when it would be easier to choose a pity party.
Winning at life looks like offering a word of encouragement instead of a harsh word of criticism.
Winning at life looks like recognizing there is more than what is seen.
Winning at life looks like acknowledging our true enemy is the devil and his schemers, not each other.
Winning at life looks like obeying God and leaving the consequences to Him.
Winning at life looks like speaking the truth in love and rejecting lies.
Winning at life looks like letting your inner circle be filled with Godly influencers.
Winning at life looks like acknowledging when things are not ok and seeking out God’s goodness still.
Winning at life looks like hoping through heartbreaks.
Winning at life looks like trusting God to be faithful to His word through all “buts.”
Winning at life looks, in a nutshell, looks like imitating the life of the One who has already won.
Do I win at life perfectly? No, not by a long shot. But the grace of God is what transforms me into a winner, daily, through the process of sanctification. Because Jesus has mercifully signed me onto His team and is gently transforming my heart to become more like His, that makes me a winner.
The same goes for you, my friend. Is there a situation in your circle of relationships that you crave victory for? How about in your own perspectives and practices? Do you need an attitude or action shift? Search your heart before the Lord to make sure that you are really winning. And then from there, for the person that is not yet winning, ask God to give you compassion for them and to transform their hearts to want to win, too. Winning at life comes from being rooted in God’s playbook: His word.
Like my friend Jayme encouraged me: cut out the negatives and start praising. Start praising God in advance for what He can do to bring victory. Believe him when He says, “With God this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). That, my friend is what #winningatlife looks like.
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