Rock, paper, scissors and winning

Pastor Zachary Elliott. Courtesy photo

Anyone who has ever competed in something and lost knows what defeat feels like. They also know that winning feels so much better.

At a men’s conference I recently attended, men from 26 churches competed in a heated “rock, paper, scissors” battle. The competition was fierce. Men who were friends moments ago suddenly became mortal enemies as the competition began.

After much sweat, blood and tears, only one man stood above them all… and it wasn’t me. I hate losing. Winning is so much better.

I don’t know about you, but I want to win in life. More importantly I want to win in my relationship with Jesus. Don’t you?

The question is how do we do that? 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 helps us with this quandary when it said, “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.”

If you’re looking to win in life and grow in your relationship with Jesus, here are three steps to take as you head toward the winner’s circle.

First, don’t give in to defeat; run to win. Everyone falls. The question is whether you are going to get back up or not. Failure is defined by quitting.

Also, get the training you need to help you win. Everyone needs someone to pour into their life and make them better. In the sports world, they’re called coaches. In the faith world, they’re called pastors, teachers, elders and mentors. Find a church family that has these people and learn from them.

Lastly, take every step on purpose. Your faith is not meant to be a meandering walk through the countryside. It’s a life of purpose. The purpose for your life is to take a step closer to Jesus every day. That’s winning.

Maybe you’re reading this today and you feel like you’ve lost. You might have even quit. Your race isn’t over yet.

Get up. Fight. Run to win. God has a purpose for you and a prize for you. He’s not through with you.

This is why I love Proverbs 24:16: “Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.” That’s you. Now go out there and win.

I’m praying for you.

Zachary Elliott is the lead pastor of Fusion Christian Church in Temecula. For more information, visit or find them on Instagram.