The last will be first: lessons of losing

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Famous American football player and Coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.”

In a society driven by competition throughout everyday life, we begin to define our self-worth through winning and losing.

Social media reduces our life adventures and photographic journeys to a quantitative scale, which causes us to compare our amount of likes to others. Then, we ask ourselves if we won the “like” battle.

The job market consistently puts us at war with other people. Who has the better resume? Who had the better internships? Who wins the job and who loses?

Winning and losing is ingrained throughout all aspects of life.

For a collegiate athlete, winning and losing consumes your life. The constant need to win and prove yourself takes a massive toll on your mental strength. When a dominant activity in your life becomes reduced to statistics and points on the scoreboard, it filtrates into other areas.

Because “winning is the only thing,” losing becomes complete failure. Losing fosters a negative mentality, which runs like an epidemic through a team. Losing snuffs out positivity. Losing means you are less. Losing means you are not good enough — does it not?

Losing creates an overwhelming negative atmosphere, because we are so consumed with winning being everything and the only thing.

Do not get me wrong.

Winning is great, but we should not be motivated to win just because we are so scared to lose. We should be motivated to win to bring glory to our team or to fulfill our hard work.

Feeling the pang of loss invokes in you a more appreciative grasp on what it really feels and means to win.

After all, the Bible shows us sometimes losing teaches us how to truly win. Matthew 20:16 says, “So the last will be first, and the first last.”

Jesus himself embodies a servant, last place attitude by associating with the outcast of society. Jesus lost his glorious crown of heaven when he came to earth. He lost his life on the cross to win the salvation of the entire world.

In the case of Jesus, losing was the only thing.

Do not let losing define your worth. You are so much more than a mere number on the scoreboard. Do not be afraid to lose, for it teaches you ultimately what it means to win.

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