I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:18b (NLT)
Ants are pests. Flies are pests. Bees are pests, Mice are pests, Cockroaches are pests. Harold Petersons are pests. Thankfully, there is only one Harold Peterson and as of late he has been a bigger pest than, well, everything that can be considered to be a pest and all because he didn't get a birthday present.
The fact that Harold had not got a present for his birthday was his own doing, for his parents were more than ready to get him what he wanted – as long as it was within reason. But Harold had to choose things that were not acceptable to his parents, mainly a pet skunk or a pet rat. That was over a month ago.
For the last several weeks Harold pestering has taken many forms. In school he kept being load and obnoxious shouting at everyone that his parents wouldn't let him have a birthday present. He knocked peoples books on the floor, spray painted graffiti on the front of the school and took 15 trips to the principals office.
Around the neighborhood he tried kicking every cat and dog that came across his path. “Stupid pet!” he would yell as he would kick it. Doing that got him a talking to by the police and a trip to the emergency room when the Doberman Pincher he kicked broke his chain and came after him. It only took sixteen stitches to sew him up.
At home he pulled his sister hair, dumped his mom's clean laundry in a mud puddle, took his dad's riding lawn mower and tried to jump the creek with it leaving it submerged in three feet of water and he even took his favorite video game and tried blowing it up with some fire crackers. I won't tell you what he spray painted all over the house.
It got so bad that no one, not even his friends wanted to talk to him. Eventually he cornered Barney at school to find out why. “No one wants to be around a sore loser.” Barney told him and took off. “I'm not a sore loser!” Harold hollered out at Barney, “I just didn't get a present.” but no one was listening.
The week following his encounter with Barney, Harold calmed down and any time some one bumped into him he quietly said “I am not a sore loser.” but then something happened and he forgot all about his birthday and not getting a present.
Have you had to be around a sore loser? You, know, the kind of person who does not take losing very well. Sometimes sore losers just go and sulk in a corner like King Ahab. King Ahab had a palace in Jezreel, and near the palace was a vineyard owned by a man named Naboth. One day Ahab said to Naboth, "Since your vineyard is so convenient to the palace, I would like to buy it to use as a vegetable garden. I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or if you prefer, I will pay you for it." But Naboth replied, "The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance that was passed down by my ancestors." So Ahab went home angry and sullen because of Naboth's answer. The king went to bed with his face to the wall and refused to eat! 1 Kings 21:1-4 (NLT) Ahab wanted something and he was told no!
Sometimes sore losers get angry and seek revenge a lot like Cain. At harvest time Cain brought to the LORD a gift of his farm produce, while Abel brought several choice lambs from the best of his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his offering, but he did not accept Cain and his offering. This made Cain very angry and dejected. "Why are you so angry?" the LORD asked him. "Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you respond in the right way. But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out! Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you, and you must subdue it." Later Cain suggested to his brother, Abel, "Let's go out into the fields." And while they were there, Cain attacked and killed his brother. Genesis 4:3-8 (NLT)
Some sore losers like to go around blaming others because things didn't go there way. As I was searching for thoughts on being a sore loser I came across an article about a man whose marriage was suffering. The mans response was to sue McDonalds claiming he broke his tooth on a bagel and which in turned ruined his marriage.
Of course, many sore losers are just like Harold and through a temper tantrum and cause problems for everybody.
It's very unlikely that anybody will go through life and never lose, never have anything go wrong, etc. When it does, we have a choice in how we will respond, we could respond like a sore loser, but that is unlikely to make anything better and can often make things worse.
Habakkuk lived in gloomy times, nothing was going right and yet listen to his words in Habakkuk 3:17-18 Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. (NLT)
Many years later the Apostles found themselves in trouble for doing what God wanted them to do. In Acts 5:41 it says they left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer dishonor for the name of Jesus and later in chapter 16 as some were sitting in flogged and thrown in jail they were found praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.
I suppose the Apostles could have been sore losers and acted like Ahab, they could have sought revenge like Cain, they could have tired blaming others and I even suppose they could have acted like Harold but they simply rejoiced. Psalms 118:24 says This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.(NLT)
Here's Something To Ponder
- When things don't go your way, how do you react?
- Would those around you ever consider you to be a sore loser?