How Not to Win

Recently, I was watching Instagram stories. As the videos and images flicked by, one of my favorite insta-celebs came up. She’s a Christian author and speaker. She’s clever and funny and super witty. I like generally like her messages and she makes me laugh. But something was different on this day.

The person, we’ll call her Alice, was promoting a fellow author’s book. But, instead of promoting it on its own merit, she said something negative about other female Christian authors. Her tactic made me so sad. I don’t think she meant to be negative. I don’t think she thought about how she was saying what she was saying at all, actually.

But it stopped me in my tracks.

Why did she feel like she needed to say that? What did she have to gain my bashing others in the process of promoting her friend? Do I do that? Do we do that?

I was disappointed. Then I was sad. Then I was a little angry. You may have seen my Instagram story about it as I struggled to decide if I should unfollow her. I even asked my followers what they thought and they were split too!

It made me think, what can I learn from this situation? Sometimes, I learn from others how to do life better, as a mom, as a wife, as a friend, as a believer. Sometimes, I learn what not to do. In this case, it made me think about how not to win. We don’t win by beating others down, by character assassination, or by vilifying others. We don’t win by knocking the talents and abilities of others. We don’t win through criticism and negativity.

Instead, here are fie ways we can win:

  1. Extend grace to others with loving kindness. Often times people who are very critical are hardest on themselves. That must be tough to live with.
  2. Believe the best in others. Just make a decision to assume the best. Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.
  3. Highlight their gifts, talents, and accomplishments. Celebrate the good things they do as often as possible.
  4. Refuse to gossip or talk badly about others. Just don’t get sucked into that pit of nastiness.
  5. Work hard running your own race. Really, it’s useless to be in competition with others. The pie is big enough for everyone. Run your own line, beat your own time.

At the end of the day, I decided not to unfollow the Instagram account. See #1 above. After all, it made me think about this issue and write this post. But, I retain the right to unfollow anyone anytime, right?

What about you? Anything you would add to this list?

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