God Loves Losers
John 13:34; 15:13
Do you know what a definition is? (an explanation of something, or a clear example of a person or thing.) So define for me….running. What does it mean to run? Moving your feet, or legs very quickly. Now, if you are an athlete, you might say that running is fun and exciting. If you are a couch potato, you might say running is exhausting.
Have you been watching the Olympics? What’s your favourite sport to watch? Some of this stuff is pretty cool. I don’t know much about it but I’m finding the luge pretty cool. Going down a 3 km long track at 125 km/hr. The difference between you and the person ahead of you is probably 2/10 of a second. You know how fast that is? Blink really, really, fast. That’s about a 2/10 of a second. Tenths of a second between Gold, Silver and Bronze.
There’s lots of excitement in Canada about all the medals we are winning. Winning is good. We like to win. Ever thought about why? Why we like to be the best? Because people pay attention to you, clap you on the back, reward you for all your hard work and what you accomplished.
The only problem with winning is that this means that there are those who lose. Lots of people who lose because there can be only one winner. In my opinion, that’s okay, it is okay to lose. It means at least you tried which is better than not trying at all.
The problem I have with this is that we tend to define people who lose as losers, and if you never win at anything then you begin to define yourself as a loser. That I have a huge problem with. You have a hard time at school, will never be an ‘A’ student, have to work twice as hard as others just to pass, so you must be slow, stupid or a loser.
You don’t even like sports. You would rather spend your time drawing or reading, doing something creative, like to be alone and quiet. You’re weird, strange-a loser. You’re awkward, maybe in the way you move, in the way you talk, you’re shy, you can’t afford the latest trends, you’re not as good looking as others think you should be, what does that make you? Then someone comes along and criticizes you and you say to yourself, “Well, that proves it. I’m a nobody. A loser.”
That’s when, my friends, God gets angry. God shouts, rumbles from the heavens, “How dare you call what I have made bad! Don’t you dare call what I have made with my own two loving hands not good enough, inadequate, worthless, a loser.” And God gets even angrier when you call yourself that. Just because you may not be up to some people’s standards, may not be as good at some things as others, doesn’t mean you are a loser.
Don’t let your failings, your shortcomings define who you are. You’re not a loser because you have failed at something. I’ll let you in on a little secret. God is always on the side of the underdog. God loves those whom the world calls losers and God knows what God is talking about.
Jesus was a loser. Yes, he was, according to our world. Jesus was born a refugee. He lived as an immigrant for four years. When he went back to his home, it was to a small, super small, town. His parents were very poor. All Jesus ever owned was a robe, his sandals and a small pouch he carried with him. He lived in a world where power and success were all around him. The Romans ruled most of the world. They had big, strong armies that marched through the village, walking into their homes, taking what they wanted, raiding their gardens and taking the food they wanted. Jesus and his family and friends were nothing to these people. Try and stop them and they won’t think twice about running a sword through you. They were nothing, losers.
But just because Jesus didn’t care about their money, didn’t care about their big palaces, didn’t care about their power, didn’t care about the politics, just because he didn’t play their game, didn’t mean he was a loser.
What Jesus did care about was his relationship to God and teaching others what God cared about. So, it was important to Jesus to spend his short life, telling other people who had been left behind, what God thought about them. Jesus spent his life reaching out to people-not down to them like he was somehow better than them, but out to them, touching hearts and spirits which were broken and needed love, wrapped in gentleness and kindness.
He would stop and talk to the beggars who lined the roadside, sit down with them, make them feel heard, let them know they were worthy for him to spend time listening to them, that what they said mattered, that they were worth something. Women, children, slaves, the handicapped, soldier’s daughters, mothers and fathers. “Let them all come to me,” Jesus said, “for to you belongs the kingdom of God.” Did you hear that, “For to you belongs the kingdom of God.”
So don’t let the voices you hear define you. Just because you may not be the best at something, or have even failed at something, or because you are different, doesn’t make you a loser. Hear what God is saying to you today. “You are mine. I made you and am well pleased with you. I will love you forever and nothing, nothing in all this world will ever change my mind on that.”
You know what else God says? God says you are holy and beautiful. Holy and beautiful. That all life is sacred, precious and wonderful because God made it. Then, when you know that about yourself, go out and treat other people the same way.