In sports, there are a lot of people who are avid fans as long as the team they support is winning. But somehow a string of losing seasons seems to weed out those who are true fans of the team from those who are merely fans of winning. True fans of a team love and support the team whether they win or lose. Unfortunately, this attitude of loving only when circumstances are favorable is not confined to the sports arena. It has, in fact, infiltrated almost every area of life.
We see it in the community. Who gets the most attention at school? Is it not the athletic stars, the academically elite, the irresistible personalities, the wealthy? What kind of breaks do the losers get? Who loves those who are socially unskilled, those who have little to offer to the community? Thankfully there are some who truly love the losers, but their number is small. However, Jesus calls on Christians to love all people, especially those low on the social scale: “Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position” (Romans 12:16).
We see it in the home. One of the major reasons divorce is so common is that men and women have not learned true love. It’s easy to love those who love us and fulfill our needs. But of-ten at the first sign of difficulty, the first thought that comes to mind is divorce. Many marriages are begun with the “try it and see” attitude. In the family, as long as a person is getting what he/she wants, everything is wonderful. But the test of true love is when the family starts to deteriorate: it may be attractiveness, health, a job, companionship, affection, energy, etc. Loving a loser is much more difficult than loving a winner. And so the temptation is to bail out like a fair-weather football fan. But true love stays and works to improve the problems.
We also see it in the church. There are those who are “fans” of the church as long as the church is fulfilling their needs and desires. But let circumstances turn, before you know it they have bailed out, looking for something more favorable. We also see it in another way. Instead of loving and honoring every member of the body, some are given special treatment while others are neglected. True love treats every member with the kind of love they received from God.
Thanks be to God that, though we are all losers because of sin, He loves us anyway, and has forgiven and accepted us through Jesus. Interestingly, learning to love losers will make us winners.