An Unpleasant Teacher
2 Samuel 3:1
“Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.”
The verse above says, “…but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.” The unpleasant thing about this verse is that one side won while the other side lost. David eventually won this battle, but it was just one of many that he had to fight; some he lost and others he won.
Winning and losing is a part of life. We live in times when many people want everyone to win, but even in fairy tales, someone has to lose. Giving a participation certificate is nothing more than keeping someone from the fact of life that sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. Losing is a part of life that everyone has to face. Several observations can be learned about losing.
First, you will lose more than you win. Most people lose many times before they enjoy the great victory. Some of the greatest baseball players in history only averaged around a mere .300 in their lifetime. That means that most of their career they lost at the plate. My friend, you will lose in life more than you win, but losing doesn’t make you a loser if you keep going.
Second, losing doesn’t make a person a bad person. If we could have met some of the men who fought for Saul, we would have found out that they were very good men who happened to be on the losing side. Just because you lost doesn’t make you a bad person. In sports, there can only be one champion every year. Likewise, in life, everybody can’t win. Most people have to lose for one person to win. Just because you lost doesn’t make you a bad person.
Third, losing teaches invaluable life lessons. The lessons that we can learn from those who fought for Saul are lessons that will keep us from making the same mistake they made. Some of the greatest lessons you will learn in life come from the unpleasant teacher of losing. There is a life-lesson to learn in every loss. You can bemoan your loss and get bitter, or you can learn from it and improve. Don’t let the unpleasantry of losing cause you to become bitter. Many losers become bitter enemies of the winner only because they lost. My friend, focusing a bitter attitude on how you can besmear the winner won’t get you closer to winning. Let the bitter taste of losing teach you how to become a winner.
Fourth, losing reveals your character. What you do after the loss shows your true character. The greatest winner allowed their loss to motivate them to get up and try again. In Proverbs, the just man fell seven times, but he continued to get up. You must have the character to get up and face your loss if you want to enjoy the pleasantries of winning.
Fifth, losing shows how important something means to you. After you lose, whether or not you continue shows the importance of what you are doing while you lost. Always remember that a loss is only a temporary setback that can become a stepping stone to victory if you will keep going. If what you are doing is important, you will get up after the loss and keep going. Losing doesn’t mean you were wrong in what you are pursuing. Be careful not to let the loss keep you from the importance of the cause. If the cause is important, you must get up and keep going until you win.