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Winning as an Idol

Winning isn’t everything it is the only thing.” Vince Lombardi.

A quote that stirs the fires inside of every ball player and coach that has charged onto a ball field. This statement has been made by fanatics, businessmen, and preachers to define their attitude towards their trade.
 This was a favorite of mine as a young ballplayer. Winning was the only worthy goal in life. Winning was something to work for when everyone else was playing. “Win at all costs” was the only to play the game.
 This attitude grew into a fear of failure that was many times stronger than the thrill of victory, a fear that once I stopped playing and coaching I carried into my business life, fear that would drive me to work countless hours and take almost any risk.
 In my fear of failure disguised as a quest to win I was guilty of idolatry.
 “You must not have any other god but Me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything…” (Exodus 20: 3-4)
 This statement, quoted by God to Moses in the book of Exodus leaves nothing to be debated. These two sentences are known as the first and second Commandments.
 In how many ways are we guilty of putting something first in our lives that does not belong there?
 Idols are not just made of wood, stone, or metal as they are in many parts of the world. An idol can be simply the pursuit of happiness if that comes first in your life. Success and the almighty dollar are the idols of the United States. We are unfortunately success crazed in this country. Winning is everything to us and that is idolatry.
 Our attitude is important. Winning is good. Paul wrote “run in a way that you may win” (I Corinthians 9: 24). Success is good. Jeremiah wrote “I will bless you with a future filled with hope--a future of success, not of suffering.” (Jeremiah 29:11). God promised success, His way. Therefore for true success we must follow His guidelines.
 How does this equate to our everyday lives? How does this help us manage our money better? Our attitude towards money affects every decision that we make. Those decisions are made daily. With the proper perspective of where money fits into our life, we will make proper decisions. Thinking that money defines who we are, that the score is kept with dollars, and the person with the most at the finish line of their life wins; our decisions will reflect that attitude. We will then make the wrong decisions. Is money an idol to you, or is it simply a tool to be used in life?
 The Bible is clear about the position of money in our lives. It should be properly managed; it is a gift from the Lord, He has provided the wisdom and the skills necessary for us to succeed. However, that success financially will not define our lives. It will be an afterthought. God wants to provide for us, but He wants to be first in our lives.

October 1, 2007

Investment advisory services offered through Sound Financial Strategies Group, Inc.("SFSG"), a Registered Investment Adviser.  Securities offered through Comprehensive Asset Management and Servicing, Inc., ("CAMAS") Member FINRA/SIPC.  SFSG and CAMAS are separate and unrelated companies. The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by CAMAS.


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