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July 11, 2005

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Defeated by TKO: The Know-it- all Offense

By: Dr. Skip Myers
Edgefielddaily.com columnist
web posted July 11, 2005

Boxing is an interesting sport that has relatively remained unchanged over the centuries. It basically boils down to two people in a ring trying to knock each other unconscious or at least hit the other person more times than they hit you. Either way it means someone is getting bruised and battered before the bout is over. And it used to be we spoke of two men in the ring but now with the advent of women’s boxing, we can no longer make that assumption.

I think the only way I would get into the ring is if I had regulation gloves on and my opponent had those huge, puffy, oversized gloves that are only good for swatting mosquitoes. I’m not a coward by any means but I just don’t see that it is in my nature to stick my neck out and ask someone to hit me in the head as hard as they can. I find myself strangely attached to what little brain matter I have left.

I listened to an interview with Mike Tyson following his most recent defeat in the ring. Now I’m not here to make any value judgments on this particular fighter or the profession itself but he did make the most mind-catching statement as he announced his retirement from the ring. He said, “I will not disgrace the sport by losing to this caliber of fighter.”

There are a great number of parallels between boxing and life. It seems as though we are always in some type of struggle. Some of these struggles are three-round bouts while others are main attraction 15-round bouts. And remember, in boxing you can lose three different ways. You can get knocked out, your opponent can win a majority of the rounds and “out point’ you, or you can lose by TKO. TKO stands for technical knockout and occurs when one of the fighters is not able to continue the fight.

Each day as we enter the ring of life, we must decide on the strategy we will employ during each round. And for each of these bouts, someone is in the audience watching to see if our strategy will work. For many of us, we plan a strategy that pays lip service to our faith but fails to be visible in the ring. When the final bell is sounded and the winner’s arm is raised, it is seldom ours. We have chosen to jab without Jesus, counter without Christ, and move without the Messiah. (How’s that for fancy word work?)

The end result is we bring disgrace to the “sport” of faith by losing to an opponent that should have and could have been easily defeated. Our strategy leads to a TKO: The Know-it-all Offense. We win only because of who and what we know. If we “know it all” ourselves, then we bring only our own capabilities to the ring. At some point during the bout, we will run out of knowledge, strength, and endurance. Our opponent will capitalize on our weakness and wear us down until we have nothing else to give.

For whoever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? I John 5:4-5  There is the winning strategy for life: our faith in Christ. He must be our trainer, manager, and “corner man.” When we are in the ring our victory depends on the training we have done prior to the bout and who we have allowed to direct that training. It is a certainty that during the bout our opponent will throw something at us we are not prepared for and at that moment we need someone in our corner who has the experience and wisdom to redirect the strategy.

Look at the passage above. Our faith overcomes the world. In other words, to be self-reliant invites defeat but to put our faith in a relationship with the Lord enables victory. Realize we still have to be in the ring and we still have to fight the fights. Faith is not a way to bypass or avoid life, it is the only way to experience victory in life. I don’t know about you, but I find winning is much better than losing. After all, it is God’s plan for His children.

If you find yourself bout after bout losing to opponents of questionable caliber, then maybe it’s time to change trainers, managers, and corner men. To put it bluntly, you need  someone better than you in your corner. Isn’t it great to know we serve a God who actually wants to be in our corner. All you have to do is ask and He is ready to step in and be all you need to start winning. Just a reminder, training sessions happen every Sunday at His gym. I’ll see you there.

Dr. Myers is Pastor of Smiths Station Baptist Church, Smiths Station Alabama and a former Youth Minister of Sweetwater Baptist Church (1981-1986)
Contact Dr. Myers: E-mail

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