Or living not to lose?
If you’re a sports fan no doubt you’ve seen it before. In the last half of the game, your team changes their game plan. They switch strategies. Instead of playing to win – the very strategy that has worked so well and given them a healthy lead – they abandon that and begin playing it safe; playing not to lose. And they end up losing the game-the very thing they were trying not to do!
I’ve found that no matter how hard I might try to avoid it…I follow what I focus on. If I focus on those things that are negative, I go negative. The trap lies in that we believe if we focus on them we can avoid them. That’s the trap. We can acknowledge that the temptation or the fear or the possibility of failure is there but when it becomes the focus, we’re in trouble.
Job found this out. Yes, he was an honorable man of integrity. Yes, he gave God glory in all things even when he lost everything. But he did focus on his fear.
says, “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me.”
So…the loss he experienced he actually “greatly feared.” He must have spent time thinking about it. Did he focus on it? I wonder if “greatly feared” and “dreaded” could mean “obsessed.” Was this Job’s weakness (if he had one)?
How do we escape this? How do we live to win instead of living (making daily decisions) not to lose? Remember, we follow what we focus on. All of us have fear. We are all scared of something. But the problem comes when we focus on that fear. That focus causes us to actually make decisions or take steps in the direction of fear and failure. And with each step we take in the direction, we validate that fear.
When we live life not to lose, we switch from the strategy of success and winning to a “safe” strategy. We’re no longer going for it. We’re no longer taking the bold steps. We’re no longer listening to that inner voice (or voice of the Spirit) that tells us to GO! We play it safe. We hold. We hesitate. We become timid. Then we become fearful that we might lose any ground we’ve gained.
Then we’re toast.
Because we’re no longer living to win, we’re living not to lose.
Don’t focus on the fear. It’s okay to acknowledge it. But focus on the prize…the destination.
What are you scared of? Has it become your focus?