Growing up, I hated losing. I still do actually. No one wants to lose because let’s face it, process of elimination, if you lose, you’re a loser. Go ahead and put that L on your forehead. It’s heartbreaking to lose. I never wanted to see my favorite team lose either. I was that kid that cried if my favorite college or professional sports team lost. If my team lost, it was literally like someone had stole all my toys and lit them on fire. Devastating. Why does losing feel so bad? Well, I believe that when you put so much time and effort into something and then you lose, you think “Why did I even bother if this was going to be the outcome??” You put your heart, soul, and body into and then you lose. Ouch.
There’s a mindset that everyone is a winner. Everyone gets a trophy. Does this same concept apply to our Christian life? I know we are not competing against other individuals for the prize of heaven but rather against our selfish ways. If we look at a few passages of scripture, I think we see the bigger picture.
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
According to the passages in Hebrews, we see that people had a wondering heart, hardening of heart, or even a heart of unbelief. We do have grace. We see that in Romans but the idea of grace is not a license to keep sinning. We insult the Spirit of grace when we do that. I see it as a race, as the Hebrew writer wrote, let us run this race we call life with endurance, lay down the things that hold us back, and keep our focus on the Lord. I think the following paragraph helps sum up this idea:
“Christians should rejoice that no one can forcefully take the gift of salvation away from them. But, it is possible for Christians to lose hold of their own salvation (i.e., “fall from grace,” Galatians 5:4) by willfully becoming disobedient to the Master, Jesus Christ. Christians may choose to walk in darkness (becoming unforgiving, unmerciful, lukewarm, etc.), and thus forfeit their eternal life with God in Whom there “is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Or, Christians can choose to “walk in the light as He is in the light,” and forever remain in a saved state, having the blood of Jesus Christ continually cleanse all sin (1 John 1:7-9).”