Loser. This word sneaks up on me sometimes, echoing in my mind like a harsh whisper, and cuts me to the heart.
This word gained power over me in college. I was a classic underachiever, pretty good in school, but always taking the easy route, the shortcut. I crammed for exams, pulled all-nighters to write papers, and came to classes unprepared.
I lived that way socially, too, moving from one relationship or party to another, desperate to win friends, to be known, to be seen. On the outside, I was popular and fun. On the inside, I was lost and lonely.
I knew God had a plan for me, but I thought mine was better.
I turned my full attention to school my senior year. I had a solid “B” average, but I wanted to get a 4.0 the last semester. I didn’t know how to be a good student, but I put my all into it. My motivation was fear of failure, and anything less than perfect was failure.
Like a sadistic coach or harsh drill instructor, I taunted myself, saying I wouldn’t amount to anything without that 4.0 — that I would be a loser.
This word — loser — dominated my thought-life.
I thought that shaming myself was the path to success, but in the end I missed the mark by getting a “B” in one class. That semester came and went, and I graduated with a 3.4 overall, but the word stayed. Loser.
In my twenties and thirties, desperately desiring spiritual growth, I was consumed by my daily failures — so many lost battles against pride, selfishness, anger, and resentment. I wanted those victories so badly. I never saw the good God was working in me because the feelings of unworthiness were so strong.
When our feelings contradict God’s Word, we have to let them go.
Writing God’s Word on my heart and mind is a daily process. Learning the Truth fills me with gratitude for God’s grace. He banishes that word, loser, and promises that He will do good work in me.
There’s no chance of failure for me because He’s the one doing the work. The Lord absolutely guarantees that He will finish what He started in me. And He’s not discouraged by weaknesses; instead, He’s chosen to entrust me with His plan, the gospel.
I’m a partner with Christ and with Paul and with you in all of this.
Together, we have victory, because Jesus has won the battle.
Today: Read Philippians 1:3-7