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13263778_10156960750960711_3960092391227249140_nRecently, I was on vacation with my family in Tennessee. It was a nice time. Near the end of our time in the Smokey’s, we visited the Dixie Stampede attraction.

The Dixie Stampede, for those who are unaware, is where you experience a dinner performance while you enjoy some food. The atmosphere takes you back when the South and North were against one another. It is a friendly competition.

All this to say, I was on the north side cheering for my side and the losers on the south were cheering for theirs. Besides the fact that I have this suspicion that the dinner theater is rigged, the point of the night is for your side to achieve the most points.

We were getting killed. The south was dominating. It was like 6-2 (I am not even sure we deserved the 2). One thing led to another and we were tied (rigged, I tell you!).

The final game is where all the guests participated by sitting in their seats and passing the final flags from one end of the stadium to the center. Guess who won?

The dirty rotten southerners!

After it was all said and done, the host came out and said at the end, “We believe everyone is a winner.”

My wife and I exchanged glances at such a stupid comment.


Is Everyone a Winner

AdobeStock_68752333No! Let’s get this straight. People lose! I lost! We were defeated. They had more flags than us. The scoreboard says they won. Everyone knows they won. How on earth am I a winner? I lost. The North lost!

When my kids (currently only have 1) grow up, they will lose at things. They will not be good at everything. Sure, they could practice getting better, but they won’t be good at everything. If someone told me I can sing, I would laugh at them. Can I? Technically. I mean, sound comes out of my mouth. Vocal cords are being commanded by my brain. But I sound awful.

Guess what? That is okay. Do I wish I sounded like Chris Tomlin? Sure, I wish my voice encouraged others to love Jesus. But I am not good and therefore should not be told I sound great.

I was part of a basketball team that went undefeated in the season. We were good. It came down to the championship game. We beat the team we were up against twice in the season. This should be a no-brainer, right? Wrong! We lost by 3 points in the finals.

Were we winners? No! We got second place. Or as the Navy Seals’ call it, first loser.

When I was selling cell phones at Verizon, we had a scoreboard. I liked to be on top. If I was at the top, it meant I was winning. I was in first place. I was outselling others. However, I was not always there. Sometimes I won, and other times I was beaten.

My point is this, telling people they are all winners is lying and just plain dumb.


Bringing This Home

AdobeStock_67102234When we tell our kids that they are a winner even when they are not, we tell them a lie. Parents will argue it is for their kids’ self-esteem. This is not true. What kid does not think of himself too much? Parents need to do a better job engaging with their child and correcting them. You are their parents. Yes, any time you speak to them should be done in love.

I ask, is lying to them loving? Should my parents have told me that I should try to get a record label for my singing talents? No! I am thankful they did not. Instead, I was nourished in ways that I excelled in and enjoyed.

When we look at Scripture, there will be a day when Jesus (winner!) will publicly throw Satan into the pit (loser!). I share this with you to demonstrate that in all of life, there are winners and losers. Let’s not kid ourselves. Let’s prepare our children for what the world has for them. A world where there are winners…and losers.

Justin is a husband, father, and a writer. He is passionate about equipping parents, glorifying Jesus, and helping the local church. Justin currently resides in Michigan with his wife and two daughters.

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