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I went to the state DECA competition last week. My students did well and I was proud of them.
I had hoped we would win a few top awards this year because the national DECA competition is in Orlando, Fla. Unfortunately, we wont be going this year.
Its exciting to go to the grand award session to see if your school gets called up on the big stage. The students who win have all kinds of reactions to winning and some of them are fun to watch.
There was a young man sitting in front of me at the session who was acting like some of the winners. I thought he was making fun of them.
When this student was called to the stage, I was interested to see how he would react to winning. When he arrived on stage, he did some hand gestures that his school did when they made it to the stage. Then he stood respectfully waiting to see if he would be one of the top four winners. He didnt win one of the trophies.
I watched his reaction closely. When the announcer congratulated all the winners, he clapped for them. Most students who dont win the top trophies do not clap for the winners. His reaction impressed me. He was a good sport.
When it comes to winning and losing, we all know how to win. We jump up and down, hold the number one finger up in the air and wear huge smiles. Thats easy, and we all love those moments in life.
The problem comes when we arent the winners. I am afraid we arent teaching young people how to be good sports, how to hold our heads up and congratulate the winners.
When people compete there are going to be winners and losers. Since you cant always win, its important to learn how to act when things dont go your way.
Naturally, there are thoughts of how you could have done things differently and feelings of disappointment. But losing a competitive event doesnt make you a loser; it just means you have to go back and work harder so you can do better next time.
There are times that life beats all of us down. It might be because we are sick or it could be we are having a bad day. When we are going through bad times, its easy for the enemy to contribute to our negative feelings and help us feel like big losers. Sometimes we let sin creep in instead of fighting for victory.
Once weve fallen, we can be sure the enemy will be there to kick us when we are down. We have to recognize in those moments that our attitude is wrong.
Defeat in any situation is hard to overcome. It takes a great coach to reverse a defeated attitude and help a team believe that victory is possible.
Where can we turn when life is beating us down and we feel defeated? Gods word offers us the encouragement we need to overcome our defeated attitude and to discover victory.
Recently I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by life, mainly because I have been sick. Its hard to get your thinking right when you see all the things you need to be doing and you are unable to get them done. Its in those moments that I have learned to read Ephesians to bolster my faith.
Paul teaches us in Ephesians who we are in Christ and our place in his kingdom. He explains the authority we have as Christians. He tells us that we are saved by grace, so we dont have to earn Gods love.
He tells us how to live our lives and love our spouses and children.
Finally, he reminds us that we are in a battle every day and that we need the armor of God to stand our ground.
Throughout Gods word, he encourages us and challenges us to press on, to fight the good fight of the faith so we will once again experience victory.
I want to encourage you to understand that life is filled with good and bad days. Dont be defeated.
A good sportsman sees a loss as an opportunity to improve. With a positive attitude and a clear understanding of who you are in Christ, you have the power and ability to overcome. God wants you to be victorious, but that requires determination and the vision to see past todays losses.
So once again, I encourage you to stand, hold your head up, remember you are a child of God and that victory is within your reach.

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