June 9, 2023

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Okay, I guess I'm a typical American, because I like football, baseball, and basketball. Now, luge, bobsled, slopestyle, halfpipe - not as much. But, like millions of others, there's something about the winter Olympics that drew me in to watch sports that I know little about. It's because of the drama; the world's best on the world stage, with much of their life invested in what will be only minutes of their life, giving it all for the glory of winning or the agony of losing.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Winning Way to Handle Losing."

That's part of what I saw, and I specifically remember it from the Games in Russia at Sochi; stinging setbacks, bitter disappointments. But there were examples of how to handle it.

Number one, know the difference between what you do and who you are. No one was the face of Team USA in those Olympics more than snowboarder Shaun White. He had two gold medals in the halfpipe, a third win and he'd have made history. He didn't win anything. No gold, no silver, no bronze. But in the midst of what had to be a crushing disappointment, he did have some helpful perspective for all of us who'd watched the dream slip away. He said, "This is just one part of who I am - a big part - but I want to be more than just that."

There's all the difference in the world between, "I failed" and "I'm a failure." Yes, you see, you may have fallen short athletically, academically, at work, or even more significantly, in a major life relationship. But "I've failed" doesn't mean "I'm a failure." You aren't what you do. You are your character, you are your God-given worth - which has nothing to do with your performance. No setback, no broken dream can rob you of you unless you let it.

Here's another lesson. Look for the lesson and move on. Skier Bode Miller knew that glory - a five-time Olympic gold medalist. But in Sochi, he finished eighth in the men's downhill. In the midst of disappointment, one reporter said, "He painfully dissected what went wrong." Ecclesiastes 7:14 in the Bible says, "When times are good, be happy. But when things are bad, consider." Yeah, that's pretty good.

I'll tell you, when I've messed up, there are always lessons to learn. Those lessons can, if I'll man up to the responsibility, keep me from messing up again. Learn the lesson. Don't dwell on failure. One woman's cross country star, who was expected to medal for the USA, said this after finishing as an also-ran: "So I'm just going to put today in a box and move on to the next one."

Number three lesson, look where you're going and not where you've been. Erin Hamlin had just won the Olympic gold medal at Sochi in singles luge. She had been a favorite to do that in Vancouver before. She was out of medal contention after the first heat unfortunately. But after her most recent appearance in the Olympics she said, "I was really disappointed, and I knew that's not how I wanted to end my Olympic legacy. It was super-motivating." I like that. See, dwelling on the past can be futile. It can't be changed. But the future is yet to be written.

And now our word for today from the Word of God that nails that down. Here's how God wants us to look at our life. "Forget the former things. Do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up. Do you not perceive it?" (Isaiah 43:18-19). See, God's in the business of erasing the sins and failures and the mistakes of our past. He's the Lord of new beginnings.

We know that, because in this same chapter He says, "I am He who blots out your transgressions and remembers your sins no more." Do you know how that miracle happens in a human life? It happens because Jesus Christ died for those very sins so that they could be forgiven. Then He walked out of his grave so He can walk into our lives today and change what only He can. He's there to begin a life-changing relationship with you today. We'll show you how if you'll go to our website. It's

It's a big deal when a child or grandchild gets to the weight where they can turn their seat around in the car. They don't have to look where they've been. They can look where they're going. That's what Jesus does for a life. He'll be all eyes on where you're going, because He's forgiven that past. That's a great, great way to live!



Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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