Playing to Win
If you are truly Playing to Win, you must learn to seize God-ordained opportunity, work hard and stay humble, and develop a laser focus for God. Missionary Jim Elliot captured this mindset when he said:
“Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
The playing to win mentality ultimately means reaching for the higher standard set by the only perfect person who ever walked this earth. Jesus set a higher standard. He focused on His purpose, which He received from God, and he never wandered away from that. Interestingly, Satan too has a laser focus, and Jesus placed them side by side when he said…
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
Following this higher standard sets you apart. It makes you distinctly different from the world around you. Yet, it’s about progress not about being perfect. Pursue perfection — righteousness — knowing you won’t get there this side of Heaven, and rejoice in the grace of God that fills in the gaps left by your imperfections.
Look to the Old Testament to see this concept played out. Even amidst many, many mistakes, there are lots of examples of individuals pursuing this higher standard.
- The disciples
- Paul and the early church
All these people developed or were directly given a simple focus, and they seized the God-ordained opportunities presented to them. They prayed for boldness, then worked hard and stayed humble as they made their way toward perfection.
Your Why Makes the How Easy
When you chose to go beyond the minimum, past just getting by and “good enough,” you begin to live to a higher standard. When you push past distractions and decide on a simple, God-ordained focus, you keep the path clear for victory.
In order to maintain this playing to win mindset as a Christian, you must know your why. If you don’t, the how gets muddied and weighed down with struggles. If you know your why and stay focused on it, though, the struggles simply become the how of reaching perfection.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24)
Make becoming a disciple, serving Christ and letting Him decide your reward, be the overriding purpose for all you do. Let working for the Lord be your driving force and motivation. This is Playing to Win for the Christian. This is running as if to win the prize.