Athletes will push the edge or sometimes blatantly cheat in order to get that winning edge. Children learn that already when they play games when they are young. They want to win and so they will blatantly and childishly try to cheat just so they can win. For them it’s not playing the game as much as knowing that they have won. They aren’t alone. We all like to win at things. We want to “win” at work or with our families. We want to be on top in life. It is motivated by pride and that is a problem. To many, life itself is a game and in order to win, it’s OK to cheat.
However, there is one thing that we can be winners at without any kind of cheating at all and it is promised that we will win without any doubt. When it comes to our eternal life, we don’t have to cheat because Jesus has won that for us. Now some people will still try to cheat in the sense that they want to work or earn their way to heaven. They believe that if they do just a little more good or if they are a little bit nicer or be a little more moral, then they will convince God that they should have eternal life. But God’s standards are high and unyielding: perfection with no sin at all whatsoever! We can’t game that system since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
Jesus has won our eternal life though and so we don’t even have to try to gain an advantage with God. As far as God is concerned, the battle is over and we now have the victory over sin and death because of Jesus. And that is a victory worth celebrating and living out with gratitude to God in our lives.