The Thrill of Second Place
As parents, grandparents, volunteers or teachers; we endeavor to instill healthy, positive values and morals in our children and youth. This trait is fairly consistent amongst most families (whether believing or not).
So at first blush, the subject line “The Thrill of Second Place,” may strike us as odd. Consider the message we send when we shuffle our kids off to hockey, soccer, figure skating (etc), dance class or music lessons. And we use phrases like “practice makes perfect,” or “do your absolute best.” We hoot and holler at recitals and competitions; where the ultimate goal is to “win it all,” or “win first place.” Even if we (parents, grandparents, etc) don’t personally stress that as being most important, the message is still sensed, either from instructors, coaches, or within the competition itself.
Allow me a moment to pause and make some disclaimer statements:
- Winning is not bad or evil.
- We should all strive to do our best in all we do (especially when God can be glorified)
But consider the words from Romans 12:10 (read 9-12 if you wish)
“ Love each other with a genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
From the child who is upset the kid in front of him took the last of the snack he wanted to the jealous teenager sitting on the bench during the final moments of an important game; and sadly yes, even us “mature adults.” We can all use an extra dose and reminder to “love with affection.. and honor each other.” It doesn’t mean we always have to be second best or never get what we want; but it certainly means we can’t always be the best and have the best of everything.
God is pleased when we honor others above ourselves; it’s the “Thrill of Second Place”.
For family discussion/time:
- When have you struggled to honor others?
- Does it help to know that God honors you?
- Have a prayer together that God will help you honor others.