How Do You Define Victory?

This is the first in a series of posts about victory in our lives as Christian business owners and leaders. I am really excited about this series because I think this is a critical issue for all of us, though most of us have not thought much about it.

victory

Desire For Victory Is Okay

Sure, we want to win. Most of us have participated in some form of team sports during our lives at one point or another. I am assuming that all of us have wanted to taste victory to some degree. To some, you may not want to win at all costs, but certainly would prefer winning to losing!

Some of us REALLY want to see victory in EVERYTHING! As long as we do not let that desire for victory override our desire to please God, there is nothing at all wrong with it. In fact, I think God places that desire for victory inside of each of us.

Most Stop Here

If you are like most people, this is about as far as your thoughts have gone. You have probably not thought a lot about what victory actually looks like in your life as a whole. If you have, congratulations! You are probably the exception.

For the vast majority, if asked what victory in life means, they would respond with things that the world considers important. Even if we exclude the obviously “non-Christian” answers (money, toys, fame, etc.), we would still likely hear things like the following:

  • Good education for my children
  • Comfortable retirement for me and my spouse
  • Successful career with reputable company
  • Solid reputation with everyone, no enemies
  • Large attendance at my funeral

Are any of these answers BAD?

I think it depends.

Victory Goals or Results?

I think it depends on whether these were your goals or just the results.

Think about that for a minute. If you sought these examples as your ultimate goals, then that means you placed them above any other priorities. Assuming you are a believer, then it means you placed these goals ahead of your relationship with God. That is not good.

If, on the other hand, your ultimate goals related to your relationship with God and these examples came to you as byproducts, then I do not see a problem with them at all. If that is what God blessed you with at the end of a life submitted to Him, then I would say, “Awesome!”

Ultimate Question

I say all of this to come to one central, and very important question. In fact, I would rank it as one of the most important questions any of us can ask ourselves. This is a question few ask, but all answer in one way or another. Whether you stop and ask this question or not, you will end up answering it. Here it is…

How do you define victory in this life?

It looks like a fairly straightforward and simple question, doesn’t it?

Simple Question, Rarely Asked

It may be a simple question, but it is not one correctly answered by most people. Instead, most people never ask the question at all. They simply accept the definition given to them by the world around them.

Most people allow everyone else to define victory for them. Then they spend the rest of their lives chasing that definition. I think this is sad.

Simple Answer

I think it is sad because there is a simple answer to this question. I think it is sad because the simple answer to defining victory is found in the Bible and chasing this definition brings everyone the fulfillment they so desperately crave.

For the question itself, and the answer, we only need to look at Matthew 22:34-40. Jesus is asked about the greatest commandment of all. Jesus is essentially asked how He defines victory for all of us. Here is His answer…

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Simple and Straightforward

There it is. It is very simple and straightforward. We are to love God, our Creator, with all of our heart, mind, and soul and we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. That is God’s definition of victory for all of us. It does not get any simpler than that.

As a result of this Scripture, there really is no longer a need for us to struggle in defining victory. We have it right there in black and white. All we need to do is chase that definition.

Of course, it may be a simple definition, but it is not that easy, right?

More Questions

Once we accept this definition as the truth, many more questions begin to come to mind.

    How exactly does God want me to show Him this love through my life?

    How do my individual skills and talents play into this?

    How much of this victory depends on me and my efforts?

    What happens when I mess up and lose?

I understand. I have the same kinds of questions at times…okay, all of the time! That is not a problem. God likes these questions! When you are asking these questions, it means you are thinking about it! That is exactly what He wants from us. It is so much better than mindlessly accepting the world’s definition of victory.

Over the next several posts, we will be talking a lot more about victory in this life and our roles and responsibilities in seeking it. Stay tuned!

Are you one of the few that has already defined victory in your life?

On what Scripture is your definition based?

If you’ve never thought about it, when will you start?


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  • http://www.coachbrown.org/ Coach Brown

    Especially in America’s modern culture, we connect winning with being victorious. We justify the means we choose by the ends we claim to win. Your comments could be preached in every locker room in America, but also every board room as well. Winning and victory are not synonymous. To win a game or race there must be a loser. Yet we can achieve a victory whether we win or lose the game or race, because the victory was won by how we ran the race or played the game. In business, money defines success. We focus on winning the sale or winning the customer as our goal, but is that always a victory? When winning for our own glory becomes the focus there is no victory! When we focus on being the winner someone becomes the loser. If given the choice of being a member of a wining team or victorious team, which would glorify God would determine my choice! And I am sure you as well Chris!

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      That is absolutely the whole point! Thanks Coach!

      • http://www.coachbrown.org/ Coach Brown

        FYI- I saw your post right after I wrote about the same subject from John 18:38b-40… The Jewish leaders sought the win, and Pilate sought a win, with Jesus the loser, but the victory went to the loser by worldly standards.

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    As I think about how I define victory in my life, I think of dying to self. Since the drive behind my own blog is struggling to victory, I have done some thinking on the topic. As I learn to die to self and to let Christ reign in and through me, I gain victory over seen and unseen evil. I gain victory over self. More accurately, Christ gains the victory through me. The verses that come to mind whenever I describe how victory exists in my life come in the book of Isaiah. He is the potter, we are the clay (Isaiah 64:8). His word goes out and accomplishes what He will (Isaiah 55:11). He makes a way where there isn’t a way (Isiah 43:18, 19). Really, all of Isaiah 43 speaks of his victory through me. This is how I define victory… Him reigning in me and working through me to accomplish His will.

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      If there was anyone that I thought had put a lot of time into defining victory in their life, it was you!

      Great thoughts!

      • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

        Thanks Chris. I think I will do a “Recommend” post to this series when it is finished. Any idea when that will be? Or, is it a work in progress at the moment?

        • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

          I have two more written and another one or two in mind. I think I will likely finish with 5 total – which would put me at next Wednesday for the last one.

          • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

            Looking forward to it! I will probably do a “Recommend” post to it mid-August, if not before.

          • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

            You are kind!

        • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

          BTW, I forgot to say, “Thank You!” for the offer to Recommend!

          Thanks!

          • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

            You’re welcome! As I’ve said before, I love to promote blogs that get at what really matters in life. One of my passions.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Victory suggests overcoming odds, defeating something or someone, reaching a goal, or crossing a finishing line. I’ve read Kari’s comment and would see “overcoming odds/defeating something or someone” to describe “dying to self.” I’ve allowed God’s Spirit to overcome my selfish passions and live a Christ-centered life through me. I do think of success or victory in smaller terms though. Publishing an article, marketing a book, and receiving some sort of response, recouping investment, etc. I know this is a smaller vision but it’s helpful to keep in mind as I try to do “all to the glory of God.”

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      Tom, good comments. I like the “smaller vision” items…we all need those to keep us going toward the larger ones!

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