Today’s ATLB (Acronym To Live By) has a double meaning. On the one hand, IWIN spells a “word” (or 2 words) which are characteristic of a mindset brimming with pride and inflated ego. I WIN. You lose. Everyone loves a winner. Nice guys finish last. Second place is the first loser. All that stuff…and nonsense. It represents a boastful attitude; “Look at me! Look how impressive I am.” Such arrogant and self promoting words are fit only for the immature; for those who know no better than to tell the world how great they are.
IWIN is also an acronym. It stands for I Want It Now. In these days of instant gratification, our “needs” (or rather our “wants”) must be satisfied right here, right now, without delay. If patience is a virtue, then our hurried world is a vice. Waiting is a cause of agitation. A red light becomes a source of stress and road rage. Food is consumed from the microwave with a fork in one hand and a cell phone in the other. Gotta be available. Gotta seal the deal. No time to waste. We’ve become experts at multi-tasking, and whatever IT is, We Want IT Now – Power, prestige, possessions, but rarely patience.
In the fourth chapter of the book of James, the question is posed, “What causes fights and quarrels among you?” The answer is then given, “Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight” (James 4:1-2). Thank you James! You’ve hit the nail on the head (what else would we expect from Scripture?)
We want something. We don’t get it. We fight and fall out. We envy and throw a pity party. Even our prayers are self centered as we go to the Lord with the impure motive of satisfying our own pleasures. In the process, we grieve the Holy Spirit living in us because the “ITS” have become more important than the “WHO” we profess to serve.
So today, let’s swim against the tide. Instead of proclaiming “I WIN you lose” in the office, the classroom, at home or at play, let’s humbly, graciously, un-begrudgingly thank God for any successes that come our way. Remember, we serve a jealous God (James 4:5) and any and all glory belongs to Him (Psalm 115:1).
Secondly, let’s put away the selfish attitude that runs contrary to the “others centered” charge of God’s Word. Philippians 2:4, reminds us that, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Be interested and active in the lives of a neighbor, a friend or loved one. Maybe even someone the Lord lays on your heart you barely know but who is in need.
And thirdly, may we pray with the right heart and intent: That we’ll put our Lord on a pedestal and not ourselves; that He will receive the honor, glory and credit due Him. Now that is worth doing. It is something I want to do. I want to feel His pleasure. I want His approval and praise, and I Want It Now!