Jim Langley: Winning is not everything | Housing & lifestyle


“Winning is not everything; it’s the only one. “

This phrase is often attributed to Vince Lombardi, the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame coach. The term was actually coined nine years before Lombardi used it in his opening lecture on the first day of NFL training in 1959.

The joke was originally used during a physical education workshop at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1950. Henry Russell “Red” Sanders (a brightly colored football coach at Vanderbilt and UCLA whose Bruins won the 1954 national championship) in his conversation with the coaches present said, “Winning is not everything” – then there was a long pause – “Men, that is the only!”

Winning might not be the only thing, but I think we can all agree: winning in life feels good.

But none of us feel like winners every day. Life is full of ups and downs and what we all need to do is get off the mat and face life head on. This was confirmed recently at a Christian men’s conference I attended. The theme presented by the five speakers was about the amazing life of Joseph found in the Book of Genesis.

Joseph was certainly a winner as described in God’s Word. You can read the full account of his life in Genesis 37 and then in chapters 39-45. He was preferred by his father Jacob, and his 10 older brothers despised him when their father led him over the flocks.

Joseph was a dreamer who openly shared his dreams with his family. He imagined ruling over his brothers and parents. This resulted in his brothers originally planning to kill him, later throwing him into a pit / cistern and selling him to Midianite traders who in turn sold him into slavery in Egypt.

Joseph became a servant to Potiphar, a high official in Egypt, who put him in charge of his household, which was thriving immensely. Joseph gave all glory to his master and took no glory to himself.

Unfortunately, Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of sexual advances and he was jailed. Since God was with him, he quickly gained the favor of the head of the prison and found himself back in the administration. In prison he was asked to interpret the dreams of the king’s cupbearer and baker.

The correct interpretation of the dreams eventually led to his release two years later. By the way, the cupbearer lived and served the Pharaoh and the baker was beheaded three days later!

The cupbearer informed the Pharaoh that Joseph had accurately interpreted her dreams and Joseph was released to interpret the two dreams of the Pharaoh as well. Not only did Joseph interpret the dreams of the impending seven-year drought, but he also advised Pharaoh of his plan to properly prepare during the seven years of prosperity before the drought.

Pharaoh wisely placed Joseph in charge of all these matters and made him deputy under Pharaoh. So at the age of 17 to 30, Joseph went from the pit to the prison to the palace. Through all of this he gave all glory to God Almighty.

In the meantime, God’s plan was to unite Joseph with all of his brothers and father. Rather than going through the reunification process, which took some time to complete, I just want to say that Joseph realized how God had orchestrated the circumstances of the drought to bring his elder brothers to Egypt, and he wisely used his authority to guide the whole Bring Jacob’s family (Israel) to live in Goshen and multiply greatly.

The story of Joseph is a restoration, and it also shows God’s amazing work in the lives of his people growing for 400 years in a strange land in anticipation of their eventual exodus and return to the Promised Land.

In our own little ways, we can all learn of God’s complicated plans for Joseph and his people. When you claim to be a Christian you must realize that God has a special plan for your life and the sure victory He has planned for you and your loved ones. In the end, our Lord and his followers will surely win!

Passages for thought

»Genesis 45: 4-7

»Psalm 21: 1-6

“Jeremiah 29: 11-13

“1 Corinthians 15: 54-58

“1 John 5: 3-5

– Jim Langley has been writing for over 30 years while serving as a life and health insurance broker in Santa Barbara. In recent years his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to approach him as well. A long-time member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he began writing fourth quarter columns in 2014 and is now reaching an international audience through CBMC International Devotional Monday Manna. He can be reached at [email protected] for more informations. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.