Winning on the Inside Part 2

Winning on the Inside Part 2

February 10, 2014 at 3:24 PM

hardship.jpg

 

Often we can see that a person is successful by the kind of home they have, the way they dress and the car they drive. We can see the results of physical exercise, we can measure strength, admire trophies and read bank statements. It’s relatively easy to track the outer game but harder to figure out how we’re doing at the inner game.

 

Suggestions for measuring the inner game

a) Spend time in reflection and self-examination.

b) Allow trusted friends to speak into your life.

The key to having someone help us in this way is to ask our friend for an honest answer, to give us the truth in love but not to be brutally honest.

c) Build up your inner man by prayer, Bible reading, worship, fellowship, giving, loving and serving others.

d) Answer the question, “How differently would I live my life if my inner person was as visible to everyone as our bodies, appearance and outward trappings of success are?”


Some keys to winning the inner game

1. Be willing to allow God to develop our character

This is not as easy as it sounds. We might feel very willing to let God develop our character at this point in time, but when we’re driving along, in a hurry, and someone cuts us off then character development doesn’t seem such a good idea. What about when we’re shopping, or home with the kids, or when the washing machine breaks down! Are we so keen on character development at those times?

One of my pressure points would be shopping, if I’m going to sin the chances are it going to happen in the supermarket.

2. Character is developed through hardship

We don’t always want to know about this because no one enjoys hardships. We see this truth at work in Bible greats like Moses, Joshua, David, Joseph and Paul. As they went through trials and crises godly character was formed within them. Then we see someone like Saul who became Israel’s king without going through the long hard preparation as David and Joseph did. He was a disaster, outwardly he looked wonderful, head and shoulders above anyone else, but inwardly he crumbled because he lacked character. Saul’s life demonstrates how dangerous it is to hold a position or ministry that’s larger than your character.

James 1:2-3

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,

3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

 

Some of the best quality characteristics in our lives come from the worst things we go through.

Recently I talked to a person who has suffered greatly in the last little while. They said “I have cried buckets of tears, but this event has changed me on the inside. Now I have far greater compassion for others who are grieving.”

3. Deal with ambition

One of the great dangers of being overly ambitious is that our focus will be more on winning the outer game than the inner game, which is more important. Of course not all ambition is wrong, but ungodly or selfish ambition is usually self-serving. Jesus wants us to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to us.” Where is our focus?

4. Treat people well

Romans 12:10

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another;

 

How would things be different in your home and workplace if you strictly put this verse into practise?

 

Conclusion

A philosopher once said, “this is our predicament. Over and over again, we lose sight of what’s important and what isn’t.” That is so true. Let’s make the effort to remind ourselves daily that the inner game is most important. It focuses on the unseen and the unsung, but what we win at the inner game we win for keeps because, unlike our bank balance, our house, or our car, we do get to take it with us.



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