Strategy for Failure

The nomination of now “Justice Kavanaugh” was a fiasco, but it highlights a great strategy for winning. Keep your opponent so busy defending themselves that they don’t have the time, energy or focus to win. This strategy is used in sports, debates and politics. Are we as Christians willing victims of this strategy?
Obviously, not everything should be a competition with winners and losers, but where there is competition, this is a great strategy. Saul Alinsky famously integrated this strategy into at least six of his 13 “rules for radicals.” In the words of another writer, “If you're spending all of your time refuting the charges that you're extreme, racist, hate women, and despise the poor -- you're losing.

Though I could discuss how this strategy can be used both morally and immorally (Alinsky wrongly advocated that ends justify any means), that is not my point. My point is that it can be a good strategy and that Christians may be totally unaware that we may be losing an important competition as we follow myriads of distractions. Kavinaugh nearly lost his nomination due to “allegations.” Others have lost with similar accusations. In time sensitive political “competitions,” one side can keep their opponent so busy defending themselves, that the opponent never has time to carry out their planned election agenda.

Politicians as well as athletic teams should be prepared for the offense they know is coming. But what about the Grand Competition for the hearts and souls of the world? What if the Body of Christ forgets that “it” is a key player in this most important battle of all history? These thoughts came to my mind as I looked at a flyer for Christian books and videos. They were overwhelmingly focused towards personal discipleship. I thought, “We are so busy keeping up on our personal spiritual growth that we have little time or energy to engage the outward spiritual battles around us.

My son is on a high school football team. Both he and his coach know he has many weaknesses related to the game. He spends time training to gain strength and strategy, but the goal is to be effective in the GAME - in fact, I guarantee that my son would only practice half-heartedly if there were no games. So, practice is needed, but it is for a real purpose.

Further, in spite of my son’s imperfections, the coach plays him in games according to his abilities. In fact, without imperfect players willing to play,
every game would be forfeited to the opponent.

So it is with us. I think Satan is glad to see us preoccupied with “spiritual growth” if it keeps us from our calling. God cares deeply about discipleship and sanctification, but they are not merely to make us “buff,” they are to make us valuable members of a winning team. We “work-out” daily so as to more deeply and effectively love God and love our neighbor.

Take a moment and view God as a coach. Are you one of His players or are you merely a fan who works out?

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