The Biggest Loser

I love the reality show “The Biggest Loser”; it has it all: drama, competition, relationship-issues, and ultimately life-change. I had the opportunity to catch a marathon of a past season, and I was absolutely hooked. It fascinated me to observe the difference between how the all-male team and the all-female team functioned. There’s something about putting a group of women in an enclosed area for more than about fifteen minutes; somebody’s goin’ down. And while the men were having their share of competitiveness, – because, after all, it is a game – the women were… well, let’s just say they lived up to the stereotype. The men were more using the strength-through-unity approach, while the women seemed so busy gossiping, and then being offended – back-stabbing, and then being shocked when there was no loyalty – undermining and criticizing, and then pouting over the lack of unity. It was fascinating – and sad.

One girl, in particular, seemed to (although she may have been grossly misrepresented thru editing) always be in the middle of the conflict. In fact, when she was overwhelmingly “voted off”, even by the men, the reason was not: she’s a threat in the game or she’s not pulling her weight in the challenges – it was “she’s an instigator, and we can’t trust her.” As I was thinking about the feelings she provoked in her teammates, I heard IT, and it all became so clear: She leads music in her church back home! SHOCKER!! And I thought, “of course, she’s a church-girl, she’s learned duplicity from the best.”

This reminded me of an incident I heard of recently where a group of church-women (members, at the time, of my church – unfortunately) were in a huddle at a children’s sport practice. They were “sharing concerns” in such an animated and obtrusive way that a non-church member had to rebuke them and ask them to stop. If this were an isolated incident – well, “as if !” We should be ashamed and convicted.

Women have been given a great gift from God: the gift of influence. We use it and often abuse it. I’ve seen it so many times, and have been guilty of it myself – the “holy huddles” of “concern” – the bible studies turned gossip-session – the phone calls and e-mails sharing “prayer requests” or the “I just thought you should know…” Let’s just get real, we are given to gossip – we cut off our noses to spite our face. We give up the ultimate: life-change, for the temporal. We wallow in the muck, when we’ve been given a gift that can cause us to rise up and fascilitate change – LIFE-CHANGE!

If we choose to rebel and not get our…stuff together, everyone loses (and not in the good “biggest loser” kind of way). The list of casualties is never an acceptable loss when we engage in this behavior. We don’t just hurt our “target” – we must ask ourselves who it is that we don’t care about: our church, our community, our friends, our spouse, OUR CHILDREN – because they’re all on the list of losers when we wag our tongues and destroy lives one “prayer request” at a time. We all lose, but the real biggest loser is the cause of Christ.

We have at our disposal the most powerful tool of influence that there is: love. We just, so often, pass it up for more alluring options that make us feel superior and those in our path feel devastated. How much could we change? – Jesus said the most important command is to “love God and love others”, and that “they” will know us by our love – so, how we love others is a direct representation of how we love God. My prayer is that God has mercy on us for using our gifts for the Enemy – beginning with myself. Imagine what we could do if we chose to love first and foremost. For, after all, in the game of life –

LOVE WINS.

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