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Win or Lose

Success Christlikeness Selfless

Source: https://english.elpais.com/elpais/2012/12/19/inenglish/1355928581_856388.html

Contributed By: Charles Schuyler | Date Posted: 2020-02-01

Scripture: Philippians 2:3 ; Philippians 2:5

Author: Carlos Arribas
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ILLUSTRATION

On December 2, 2012, Spanish athlete Iván Fernández Anaya was competing in a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarre. He was running second, some distance behind race leader Abel Mutai – bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympics. As they entered the finishing straight, he saw the Kenyan runner – the certain winner of the race – mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the finish, thinking he had already crossed the line.

Fernández Anaya quickly caught up with him, but instead of exploiting Mutai’s mistake to speed past and claim an unlikely victory, he stayed behind and, using gestures, guided the Kenyan to the line and let him cross first.

“I didn’t deserve to win it,” says 24-year-old Fernández Anaya. “I did what I had to do. He was the rightful winner. He created a gap that I couldn’t have closed if he hadn’t made a mistake. As soon as I saw he was stopping, I knew I wasn’t going to pass him.”

Fernández Anaya is coached in Vitoria by former Spanish distance runner Martín Fiz in the same place, the Prado Park, where he clocked up kilometers and kilometers of training to become a European marathon champion in 1994 and world marathon champion in 1995.

“It was a very good gesture of honesty,” says Fiz. “A gesture of the kind that isn’t made anymore. Or rather, of the kind that has never been made. A gesture that I myself wouldn’t have made. I certainly would have taken advantage of it to win.”

APPLICATION

There are many in this world that have the same perspective as Martin Fiz.  They believe the only way to win in life is to be out in front, ahead of those around you.  Yet, our Lord, when He was on this earth, taught the exact opposite.  He told us things like - the way up is down, the way to the first chair is to take the last chair, the way to live is to die… the way to win is to be willing to lose for others. 

Paul took that example and with inspiration wrote the following in Philippians 2: 3-5: "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."

Winning in this world is climbing up the ladder of success.  But as you are going up, never forget that our Savior found victory by coming down.  

No Cheap Gifts For Christmas

Christmas Sacrifice Selfless

Source: "Peanuts" comic strip

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2018-11-15

Scripture: John 3:16 ; Mark 10:45

Author: Charles Krieg
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ILLUSTRATION

In an episode of the comic strip “Peanuts,” Charlie Brown cracks open his piggy bank. He says to Lucy, “Look, I’ve got $9.11 to spend on Christmas gifts.”  Lucy is not impressed as she says, “You can’t buy something for everyone with $9.11, Charlie Brown.” Charlie Brown says, “Oh yeah? Well I’m gonna try!” “Then” Lucy continues, “they’re sure gonna be cheap presents.”  Charlie  says with absolute conviction, “Nothing is cheap if it costs all that you have.”

APPLICATION

On the very first Christmas, God gave us all that He had: Himself, in the person of his Son, Jesus. Thirty-three years later Jesus would give us all that he had: his very life. Now it is our turn to give a gift to Jesus, and it should, likewise, cost all that you've got. 

Choosing Love Over A Throne

Romance Love (Divine) Selfless

Source: Abdication, by Christopher Warwick, London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1986.

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-02-12

Scripture: Philippians 2:3

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Touted as one of the great love stories of all time, the affair of King Edward VIII of England and Mrs. Wallis Simpson of the United States, has long been the subject of fascination by romantics the world over.  Many have looked to their relationship as an example of selfless romantic love. After all, what could be more selfless, more romantic than a king who leaves his throne for the woman he loves? 

Unfortunately, Edward was, in fact, a womanizer with a penchant for married women.  Wallis was a married woman already once divorced.  While the King did end his relationships with the other married women in his life (there were two others at the time of his first meeting Mrs. Simpson), this can hardly be deemed "selfless" love.  Nevertheless, his infatuation with Mrs. Simpson was persistent.  Faced with the prospect of his entire government resigning over his scandalous affair, King Edward decided he would rather retain relationship with his mistress than with his government. 

With these words King Edward VIII, on December 10, 1936, abdicated his throne in favor of "love," saying: "I, Edward the Eighth, of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Emperor of India, do hereby declare My irrevocable determination to renounce the Throne for Myself and for My descendants, and My desire that effect should be given to this Instrument of Abdication immediately."

Regardless of the backstory, hopeless romantics still cling to the image of selfless sacrifice--a king willing to give up all for his beloved.

APPLICATION

If a royal love story of selfless sacrifice is what you're yearning, you need look no further than the pages of Scripture. There you will read of the King of the Universe who likewise relinquished His throne for love.  Only, in those pages, you'll not read any scandalous backstory.  You'll only read of the One who loved so purely, so deeply, that He was willing to give up all to gain relationship--eternal relationship--with those He loved.

Our challenge is to love even as He did. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:3-8).

Deceased Charged A Termination Fee

Death Selfless Resurrection

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-03-23

Scripture: Philippians 3:10 ; 2 Corinthians 4:10

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Striving To Be Zero

Humility Selfless Servanthood

Contributed By: Fred Gates | Date Posted: 2013-06-23

Scripture: Philippians 2:3 ; Romans 12:10

Author: Rose Marie Berger
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One Dad Inspires Teens To Make A Big Burrito Difference

Fatherhood Guidance Selfless

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-06-12

Scripture: Proverbs 22:6

Author: Illustration Exchange
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The New Darwinism

God's Love Motivation Selfless

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-05-22

Scripture: Acts 20:35 ; Colossians 3:17

Author: Harriet Rubin / Helena Cronin
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True Glory

Selfless Reward Motivation

Contributed By: Lynn Schuyler | Date Posted: 2013-02-06

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:31

Author: Lynn Schuyler
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The Joy of Self-forgetfulness

Selfless Affliction Joy

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-19

Scripture: Philippians 2:1

Author: Helen Keller
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The Best Gifts Are Free

Christmas Generosity Selfless

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2012-12-08

Scripture: Romans 12:10

Author: unknown
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