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Spiritual Winners

Here's HOW to Win!

  
SPIRITUAL WINNERS, SPIRITUAL LOSERS


by the late Richard Nickels (founder of Giving and Sharing)



     For amusement, most office workers circulate among
themselves copies of cartoons and sayings some of which are quite
funny, others being vulgar. I have enjoyed some of them, such as
the one "It's difficult to soar with eagles, when you work with
turkeys." One however has so intrigued me that I feel that it
would benefit others for its spiritual lessons. The title is "The
Difference." I have reproduced it in its entirety and as you
think upon it, I'm sure you will see it makes good physical and
spiritual sense. There is a vast difference between winners and
losers.

"Let's Find Out" Versus "Nobody Knows"

     Spiritual winners dig out the truth. Like the Bereans, they
are not turned off with something new. They seek positive
confirmation based upon the Scriptures, Acts 17:10-12, Jn.5:39.
Truth is found by those that seek the Lord, Isa.55,6-7.

"I was wrong" Versus "It wasn't my Fault"

     Those that are wise are corrected by the truth they find.
They admit their wrong and learn the lessons. But, losers never
admit errors, always blaming someone else, Prov.1:1-7. Read the
prayer of David when he confessed his sin, with Bathsheba,
Psa.51. Contrast this with the attitude of the harlot Israel that
says she hasn't sinned, Jer.2,31-37. Those that cover their sins
won't prosper, they are losers. But those that confess and
forsake their sins shall have mercy, they are winners,
Prov.28,13-14. Admitting guilt is an expression of truth. Denying
blame is lying, 1 Jn.1,8-10.

Fear of Winning

     Do losers have a fear of winning? Yes, this is often the
case. We know of some that have begun in the way of truth, only
to stumble and fall again and again.    They may have had a
serious problem with smoking or drinking, and seemingly cannot
break the grip of Satan. They are so used to losing that
overcoming would come as a shock to them.
     For winners, perfect love casts out fear. There is none
occasion of stumbling in them. They may be knocked down but they
get right up and carry on the battle. They do not become locked
in defeatism, like Mrs.Job did, Job 2:9-10.

Meaningful Work Versus Busy Work

     The winner gets more done in less time. The loser spins his
wheels and wastes his time. Our Savior set a perfect example of
the winning work principle. He always made the time for prayer,
and was never too busy to heal someone or spend time with
children. He never wasted a moment, was always active doing the
work of His heavenly Father. Even the Sabbath was a day of work
for the Messiah, Jn.5:5-17, the spiritual work of helping and
serving people. Not everyone knows just what the work of the
Almighty is, Jn.6:28-29. It is believing on the Messiah and doing
what He says.
     How many of us are in danger of letting the cares of this
world choke us out of doing the true work? One's job, hobby, or
outside friends are important, but do we neglect the really
Important things - our family, the brethren in the faith? Busy
work does not satisfy. It is a mark of a loser.

Facing Problems and Standing by Commitments

     Being wishy-washy is another mark of a spiritual loser. He
never comes to grip with his problems, only makes alibis and
promises to overcome.
     The winner, on the other hand, is a person of action, a
doer, James 1:22-27.. Haven't you heard a brother in the faith
say, "I'm going to pray more," or "I's going to help out others
more," etc? Plenty of promises, but no action. Doing good works,
keeping the commandments, facing one's guilt and sin and
overcoming with the help of the Holy Spirits: all these require
dynamic action, living faith: Never giving up, running with
purpose to obtain the winner's prize, I Cor.9,24-27.   

Realistic View of the Self

     Would a spiritual winner ever say "I'm good, but not as good
an I ought to be"? Yes, the real winner knows that he has the
victory through our Savior. He knows he has the proclivity toward
evil, but that he is overcoming, Rev.7:14-24. He is a victor now,
and he knows it, I Cor.15"57-58, I Jn 5:1-5. Winners today have
no fear of the coming beast and the evil system of Babylon, for
they shall be victorious, Rev.15:l-4.

     "I'm not as good as I ought to be." Unless we can say that
and mean it, with dedicated action to overcome and grow, you are
not a winner. The case of the Pharisee and the publican is a
classic contrast, of a loser and a winner, Luke 18:9-14. Losers
are always comparing themselves with others. We should compare
ourselves with the Savior, not ourselves, 2 Cor.10:12.

Winners Really Listen

     Notice how many times the Savior asked questions of others,
and listened to their response. He was genuinely interested in
other people, helping then to communicate with Him. Throughout
the book of Proverbs, we are told to listen to the voice of
wisdom which cries out if only we will heed.
     It in sad that people don't listen to their children,
Husbands and wives don't listen to each other. Ministers don't
listen to the members, they often talk down to them. Brethren do
not listen to one another the way they should. Instead, they want
to express their views. In Bible Studies, I have seen this, where
the moderator is expounding on a verse, and someone also isn't
listening as he is paging ahead to look up some other scripture.
Successful brotherly fellowship requires listening. Are we doing
so?

Respect of Superiors

     Today it is most tragic that many ministers of the gospel
have so sullied themselves that they have disqualified themselves
from the offices of service they held. They are masquerading as
servants when they are really overlords, contrary to I Peter
5:1-5.
     This fact makes it very difficult for some to respect any
superior. In fact, past associations have often perverted the
true concept of just what a minister is. He is a servant of
others, Mt.20:25-28. As such, he is to be respected as one from
whom we should learn.

     Losers, on the other hand, resent all authority over then,
despising government, Jude 8. Satan, the biggest loser of all
time had his downfall in this very matter. He had the audacity to
think he could win over the Almighty, Isa.14,12-17.

Poor Excuses

     Losers come up with the poorest excuses; Like the man with
one talent, Mt.25:24-30, his own reasoning judged him. Or those
that fail to serve the "lowly" brethren, 25:31-16.
     Let us not explain away our lack of effort, our lack of
spiritual growth. Let us grow and produce fruits which speak for
themselves.

"I Only Work Here"

     How you conduct yourself on your job tells a great deal
about yourself. Some people only put in time; others work as unto
the Lord, Eph.6:5-9.
     And in a spiritual sense, have we grasped that our
responsibility is more than sitting and listening to a minister
speaking, and paying our tithes so he can do the work? We are
responsible to be as lights, shining examples in a world of
darkness. We are responsible to help our brethren, encouraging
then in the faith. Each one of us has the burden of helping
the brethren, Gal.6:1-10. This factor is a key difference between
spiritual winners and spiritual losers.

Stuck in a Rut Versus a Better Idea

     Spiritual habits I feel, may be such more difficult to
change than physical habits. Few religionists ever stop to
question their most cherished beliefs. "We have always believed
such and such," says the loser. Winners like Abraham take action
when it is revealed to then to leave their former ways. Our
Savior pleaded with the Pharisees to abandon their old ways and
return to the Truth.
     How about you? Do you periodically examine your practices
and beliefs? Do you ever ask yourself: "Is this the best way of
doing this?" Are you listening for the many ways the Spirit
reveals to you additional truth? Are you continually growing in
grace and knowledge, discarding error and adding more truth, 
2 Pet.3:17-18?

     I have found that a few sentences of a brother in the faith
has led me through personal Bible Study and prayer to expand my
knowledge and practice of the Truth. Better ideas don't always
knock you over the head: Sometimes you have to seek them out,
respond to that quiet voice.

Spiritual Pacing

     Spiritual winners are vibrant and alive. Anything but
lethargic and lazy. They don't spin their wheels, wasting
valuable time on genealogies and strifes of words, I Tim.1:3-4.
Like a racer, they don't allow themselves to be tired out and
give up the race, I Cor.9:24-27.
     What are we out to win? The Savior. How do we do this? By
putting aside our sinful past and pressing on toward the mark of
sonship in the Kingdom, Phil.3:7-15. We are in a race. And like
the tortoise, we must "keep on keeping on," never giving up,
always steadily progressing in our spiritual life.

Additional Bible Instructions For Winning

     The Greek word for "win" or "gain" is 'kerdaino;' the same
word we saw in Phil.3:18. Other uses of the word show additional
winning principles:

(1) To win, we must seek spiritual things first. What profit is
it to gain the whole world, and lose your own soul, Mt.16:26?

(2) Our conduct must be flawless and kind so that we can gain our
brothers who have strayed from the truth and sinned, Mt.18:15. To
win eternal life for ourselves, we must help others win also.

(3) Spiritual fruits must be born, or we shall lose all, Mat.
25:14-30.

(4) Sometimes we have to bend a little in order to gain more.
people to the faith, I Cor.9:9-23 in the context of verse 24.

(5) Chaste conduct upon the part of wives can often win their
unconverted husbands to the faith, I Pet.3:1-6.

To Whom Belongs Victory?

     Let us run the race as if everything depended upon our own
efforts. But always cry out to the Almighty for help. Because,
after all, it is He that gives us the victory, and not we
ourselves.

     All victory belongs to the Eternal, I Chron. 29:11. He
obtains victory for us, Psa.98:1. The ultimate victory is the
resurrection. He will raise us up and we shall be victorious for
evermore, Isa.25:6-8, I Cor.15:50-58.

     Be a spiritual winner.

                            ..................

Entered on this Website November 2007


 
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