Playing to Win

Ready “And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace.” - Romans 6:13-14
Set In any sport, when a team has the upper hand whether through having better players or a big lead in the score, their coach will often encourage them by saying, “We play to win.” So often, teams that have the upper hand will play down to the level of their competition. Instead of playing to win, they start playing to not lose. In those times, they will often let the competition come back and, many times, beat them. The same thing happens in our walk with Christ. Every day, we face temptation as Satan tries to find a way to bring us down. He knows that because we have Christ on our side, we have the upper hand. But when we lose sight of that and start playing not to lose, we become very vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. Instead of focusing on Christ, we focus on the temptation itself and try to stay away from it. It’s not a bad thing to avoid temptation, but we shouldn’t focus on it. We need to remain focused on the Lord and on becoming like Him by maturing in our faith. We have the ultimate upper hand through Jesus Christ who has redeemed us and conquered all sin for us. Through Him we have the victory and can walk in it every moment of every day. Because we have the upper hand through Christ, we have to start playing like it. Jesus always trumps sin. If we play to win, focusing on becoming more like Christ, we will find victory over temptation and sin every time.
Go 1. What does “playing to win” look like in your life? How does it compare to playing “not to lose”? 2. What are some temptations you regularly face? 3. How can focusing on Christ help you win the battle over temptation? 4. Think of someone in your life you can talk to about the battle over temptation. How can you enlist their teamwork (e.g., prayer, accountability) to help you stand strong?
Workout Ephesians 6:13-18 James 1:12 1 Peter 5:8-9 2 Peter 3:17-18