It is said that nice guys finish last. In order to win, we are taught, you must abandon your principles and do whatever it takes, on and off the field. Run over whoever is in the way. Take no prisoners. Make no friends. Nice guys need not apply.

Only, from what I’ve learned, no one likes a jerk. No one celebrates a person whose tactics and ways of acting and speaking are offensive. In fact, the opposite is true. We like to see those guys lose to the “nice” guys.

Nice guys finish last, except in the hearts and minds of people who matter.

Proverbs 11:10–“When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish, there is glad shouting.”

You and I have a choice to make in all of this. We can prize winning at all costs, or we can prize righteousness and reputation. Here’s a hint, God wrote about righteousness and reputation, so I figure that’s what he cares about most. Sure, winning is nice and we’d all like to do more of it. But one day, no one who matters will care if you won or lost. They’ll care how you handled yourself and how you treated others.

Will you be celebrated for your righteousness or because you finally got what was coming to you?

Lord Jesus, make me more concerned about living out your righteousness than I am about winning. If I win, I’ll praise you. If I lose, I’ll praise you. Either way, shape me to be like you.