Editor's Note: This week, the home of noted author and Crosswalk devotional provider and contributor Cecil Murphey burned to the ground. Mr. Murphey's son-in-law was killed in the blaze. With God's help, much prayer, and the contributions of people everywhere - including some very special friends and neighbors - the Murpheys are persevering. "Cec" is a true winner, who we honor today by printing these excerpts from his book, Devotionals for Winners.
A Winner Is...
Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! --Philippians 4:4, TLB
The first time I met Martin, he came to our writers’ group. We were all novices, and none of us had published more than one or two articles. I’ll always remember how Martin introduced himself. He said, “I am a writer.”
He went on to say, “I have never published anything, but I am a writer.” Something about his self-confidence in asserting his talent, even though the world had not yet seen it, impressed me.
This event happened at a time when I wanted to think of myself as a writer, but had neither the confidence nor the courage to use those words about myself. Martin encouraged me to say, “I’m a writer.”
That’s also the way it is about being a winner. I’m a winner. That doesn’t mean I win every victory. That does not mean that I never lose. It means that I’m a winner and I know it.
I still have ups and downs in my life and probably will always have some. I can’t say that I’m on top every minute of the day. But I’m still a winner.
A few months ago I read that Babe Ruth, who next to Hank Aaron hit more home runs than anyone in the history of baseball, struck out 1,770 times during his career!
One can be a winner and still fail. The difference lies in an attitude. I know that I’m a winner. Because I know I’m a winner, I know I’m going to overcome my problems and the tough situations that face me.
In all the years that I have been a Christian and especially in the years since I have thought of myself as a winner, one verse has helped me most of all: “Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 TLV). For me, the secret of being a winner is that I can constantly rejoice in Jesus Christ, who does so much for me. I’m a winner because Jesus Christ makes me a winner. You are a winner, too.
Lord Jesus, You became the great winner through Your Resurrection. Teach me that because I am Yours I’m a winner, too. Help me rejoice in that fact. Amen.
Compliment the Winners
...fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable. --Philippians 4:8, TEV
Philip is a member of Toastmasters, Incorporated. The other day he was telling me about the organization. In the midst of our conversation he said, “I’m a good speaker and I’m getting better.”
I like that attitude. We need more people who can honestly say things like “I’m good and getting better.” Honest self-appreciation isn’t bragging. But such people are winners. Winners know themselves, their talents and abilities, and they can honestly talk about them.
On the other hand, many of us come from a kind of Christian culture that’s always putting us down, as though we’re of no value. On the contrary, we’re God’s servants. We’re the people whom He has chosen to carry out His mission on earth. That makes us both special and unique. That makes us winners.
As we know more about ourselves and feel good about ourselves, we can recognize that we’re winners. One way we can acknowledge that we’re winners is by giving ourselves compliments.
Try this from the negative. I can remember in school when math class came along. Math has always been my poorest subject. Often when I made a mistake, I muttered to myself, “You dummy.” Throughout life I have tended to do that when I’ve done something that common sense or a little foresight could have prevented. I’ve said to myself, “You stupid jerk.” That didn’t help my self-image. Nor did it help my effectiveness with Jesus Christ.