I posted a quote to my teenage son’s Instagram page that read: Sometimes you win. Sometime you learn. Then I realized I was wrong.
Reflecting on my life, I have learned substantially more than I have won.
My golf game is worse after lessons than before.
I went to architecture school and dropped out after realizing I liked people more than a drafting board.
I have run a marathon, several half marathons, and triathlons only to find out I don’t care if people make fun of me when I walk or if I come in last on the swim. It is the fact I trained and finished that counted.
I got my real estate license because I like people, but realized after a year I would rather be their friend than sell them something.
I have learned from relationship failures, parenting mistakes, and even party fouls.
I blog out of a passion to inspire others to a life of meaning and purpose. I don’t have 10,000 followers or even 1000 but I learn and grow from others every time I make a post.
Unfortunately, the world teaches us “Winning isn’t everything, it is the only thing.” – Vince Lombardi
Whatever you do, the world says, DON’T FAIL. You need to be the best (at everything) or else.
Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with winning (unless you become an ego driven narcissist).
But, if you have ever failed to reach a goal, you will agree that there was a lot you received out of the learning.
I believe, that is why learning is God’s ultimate priority. He is focused on who we are becoming, not what we accomplish.
Here are five ways God uses learning to grow us as His people:
Relationship – the place we face our brokenness and understand the meaning of forgiveness
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 (NIV)
Transformation – the place he restores, heals, and trains-up our character
“He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we have done, but because of His own compassion and mercy, by the cleansing of the new birth (spiritual transformation, regeneration) and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.” Titus 3:5-6 (AMP)
Provision – the place we learn surrender and reliance on the King who created all things
“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? Matthew 6:28 (NIV)
Perseverance – the place we understand trails as a blessing and accountability as a gift
“Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.” James 1:12 (MSG)
Purpose – the place we recognize that our gifts and talents are meant to show Jesus – not ourselves – to the world.
“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16).
All of these are God’s way of advancing… What would it mean for you today if you embraced learning over winning?