Embarrassed by Errors: Losing the Need to Win

My friend was excited recently to plan a weekend trip for his family to an amusement theme park. The kids were especially excited as they loaded up on Friday afternoon and headed out. The travel experience was enjoyable, including the in-car conversations, the scenic views along the highway, and the timely stop at a favorite restaurant to eat. Arriving at their destination, they found the hotel accommodations very comfortable. Dad had done great. He was proud. Early the next morning, after a great breakfast with the family, the happy dad strolled by the guest services counter to confirm directions to the park. That’s when he learned that the park had closed for the season the week before.

As a college student many years ago, I was a cocky young man, a legend in my own mind. I hated to lose and hated worse to be wrong. I was asked once (old joke) if I hated to lose. I said I didn’t know, because I had never lost. In a discussion, I was arrogant to imply that, in order to save time, let's just go ahead and assume I know everything. Of course, I didn’t.

I was embarrassed at a family reunion one summer when I was too energetic to help jump start a dead car battery, I carelessly connected the cables to the wrong battery posts and set the engine wires to smoking. I also offered to help with a complex home remodeling project. The outcome was disastrous.

The need to be perfect, to know everything, or to never lose is brokenness. So while I do not subscribe to the notion that deliberately misspelling a word or giving a wrong answer is good therapy to treat perfectionism, I am no longer intimidated by losing or intolerant to being wrong. I discovered that only losers need to win and that who we are in Christ and who he is in us makes us winners.

Don Loy Whisnant/Journey Notes 9K11