Graceful winners – caught up in something bigger

By Dave Henning / August 15, 2018

“Graceful winners always remember what it feels like to lose.  And they are caught up in something bigger than their own wins and losses.”- John Ortberg

“For if you forgive others when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will not forgive your sins.”- Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)

As John Ortberg concludes Chapter 19 of When the Game is Over, he explores the second and third challenges we must navigate with grace.

2.  Learn to win gracefully.  In today’s culture of flamboyant end-zone celebrations, Pastor Ortberg suggests that perhaps graceful winners are harder to find than graceful losers.  Rather than constantly reliving past successes ad nauseum, graceful winners never forget what it feels like to lose.

3.  Learn to forgive gracefully.  Win or lose, when you play the game, it’s for certain that you’ll be wounded.  And to deal with your hurt, you need the grace to forgive.  Therefore, John notes, you’d think no one would voluntarily pick up a grudge and carry it around.  Yet, people carry these heavy burdens every day.

Therefore, only one safe place for grudges exists.  We find that place at the foot of the cross.  Because when we stand at the foot of the cross, we remember that we also stand in need of forgiveness.  Thus, the cross is where:

  • we see what grace looks life at the moment of ultimate loss – a rejected Messiah carrying our loss with everlasting grace
  • we see what grace looks like when it wins- Christ’s victory over sin and death
  • forgiven sinners receive the grace to forgive others

In conclusion, Pastor Ortberg summarizes:

“At the cross we see what grace looks like when it loses, when it wins, when it forgives.  And people are still hoping to sit next to someone who looks like that.”

Today’s question: What enables you to live like the great cloud of graceful winners preceding you? Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The soul’s fate- always the greatest question”

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Dave Henning

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