"Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich." - Proverbs 10:4


In today’s world it seems like every one defines success in numbers of wins and losses. Not everyone is going to win all the time so it is not a very good measure of success. With all the pressure put on players and coaches to put up the big win numbers we are all losing sight of why we really play the game.

John Wooden defines success as, “the peace of mind that is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming”. How many times have you seen people wanting success but not wanting to put the work in to achieving it? I like to work out on the stationary bike and treadmill.

What I like about the two things is what I have heard called “forced exercise”. On the treadmill for example; I know what levels I have the speed and incline set at and there are days when I feel pretty good doing my workout and there are days when I wonder if I can finish. On the rough days just because I’m tired the treadmill does not slow down or decrease the incline. On those bad days, I don’t know if I was out running on my own if I would be able to push myself to the same level of exercise that I should be doing. Therefore, the machine is forcing me to do the exercise much like a coach or trainer would. The machine is telling me like it is. Black and white, plain and simple. I have found out though on the tough days that if I can fight through it I get stronger. Not only physically but also mentally. I’ve heard interviews with tri-athletes that have stated, “You have to fight off the demons in your head” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s much easier to quit than to battle through it. However, I do like to think that if I didn’t succeed I didn’t fail, I was just unsuccessful. Failure means you quit; unsuccessful means you are going to try again.

Our Christian walk is much the same in this game called life. There are days when everything is going good and we are going strong and things are easy. Then there are days when things aren’t so good. When some tough decisions have to be made. Should I make the easy choice and do what the world is telling me to do and what the world is telling me is important. Or, should I make the tough choice. The one that may not bring the glory on myself, make me more money, show that someone is more deserving than I am or impress my friends. It’s not always about winning the game in this world’s eyes. It’s about winning the game in God’s eyes. It’s about having the peace of mind that is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming, in God’s eyes.

Play the game the way that God wants us to play. Be willing to put in the hard work and go the extra mile to become the best you are capable of becoming in God’s eyes and you will truly be a winner.

  1. How do you define success on the playing field?
  2. How do you define success in your Christian walk?
  3. How much work are you willing to put in to better your success on the playing field and in your Christian walk?
  • Proverb 16:3
  • Proverbs 14:23
  • Ecclesiastes 9:10

Lord, we give you thanks for competition. We give you thanks for all the blessings that make us who we are. Help us to make the right decisions in competing in our Christian walk and when we are competing on the playing field. Help us to put in the extra work that makes us the best we are capable of becoming. Help us to compete in a way that brings Glory and Praise to your name. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

About the Author:
Mark Higgins owns and operates a funeral home in Loup City, NE and is an assistant high school and jr. high track coach. He is also the huddle coach for the Loup City FCA. He would enjoy hearing from you at


Bible Reference: 
Ecclesiastes 9