Have you ever called yourself a loser?
I have and sometimes still do.
It’s a harsh label and one I wish I didn’t use.
How many times have you looked at another person and said to yourself, “At least I’m not as bad as that person.”? Isn’t that really the same thing as calling another person a loser; at least situationally, only to find yourself doing the same thing? For example, I find myself saying it daily as I walk the compound here. People can’t seem to get the idea that you should walk as you drive – on the right side of the walkway. And minutes later I find myself walking on the left. Then I justify it within my head by saying something like, “At least I don’t do it when there are people walking toward me.” That’s when I find myself gently chiding myself with a, “You’re just as bad as those who walk on the wrong side of the sidewalk.” In essence I’m calling myself a loser.
When I think of having landed in prison I also call myself a loser. I knew that what I was doing was against the law, yet I chose to risk prison to satisfy my addiction. Only losers do that, right? So by that definition, I’m living with about 2000 other losers. Yet I know people inside this place that I would not label that way so why do I still generalize the way I do? Perhaps it’s to make myself feel better about myself – at the expense of others.
On the lighter side, I sometimes lose my train of thought in conversations, lose my reading glasses and ballpoint pens (though I suspect they’re actually stolen).
When I think about being separated from family and friends I also call myself a loser; a loser of time and interaction. I’m also a loser of my career and income important to my family’s well being and security.
Fortunately, I have a family and some friends who do not label me as a loser and I wish ardently that I could see myself through their eyes.
Recently, during a time when I was really down on myself, I started thinking of famous losers. Those who perhaps appeared successful or were actually successful in some measure or measures. I figured that if I could find one or two maybe I could look at myself differently.
The first person I thought of was Elvis Presley (yes, I’m a fan). Elvis had it all; fame and fortune but he died of a drug overdose losing everything.
The second person I thought of was Jesus. I know that today we don’t see Him that way but in His day many would call Him a loser. Think of it – having no earthly possessions, rejected by those in power, betrayed by one of His disciples, scourged, and dying the tortuous death of a criminal with unbelievers surrounding His crucifixion with taunts of “Save yourself if you’re the Messiah!” Pretty much the description of a loser.
And yet …
Today we see Jesus for who and what He is – our Lord and Savior who lost His life that we may live. By losing His life He turned us into winners – if we turn to Him. With this new perspective I can redefine myself as a winner, right? Think of it! By accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, asking that the Holy Spirit fill me and doing my honest best to live as God wants me to live I become a winner! Sure, I may lose some day-to-day battles and have lost a lot in my past but when thinking of the race that truly matters I may come out a winner.
Won’t you run this race with me?