Are You Playing To Win?

by | Jun 5, 2014

It’s 6:00 a.m. Seven young professional leaders, a CEO and myself were huddled around a table deep in discussion. The question was, “are you playing it safe? Are you playing not to lose?” On the surface that sounds like a fairly harmless question. These are some serious young leaders, not faint of heart.

But the question lingered on the table for a while.

Then the next question came … and it was about the heart. “Are we really living for Jesus at work? Or are we just playing it safe?” If you are humble enough to stop and really ask that question of yourself…what will the answer be?

Can you name a single leader in the Bible that played it safe? Paul? David? Joshua? Daniel? Esther? Nehemiah? Abraham? Noah? Moses? Matthew” Mark? Luke? John? Mary? Timothy? Stephen? Thomas? The Good Samaritan? John the Baptist? And of course, there was Jesus…

You may be able to point one out to me, but you get the point.

The Bible not only gives us great leaders, hero’s if you will, but powerful guidance and encouragement on not playing to lose, but teaching us to play to win!

  • 2Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
  • 1Corinthians 9:24 says, “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!
  • and 1Corinthians 9:26 says, “so I run with purpose in every step…

Are you playing to win:

  • …in your marriage?
  • …with your kids?
  • …in your finances?
  • …with your friends?
  • …and last but certainly not least, are you playing to win at work?

The rich man was so close. He got it. He obeyed the rules. But in the end, he played not to lose. And it cost him everything.

When you read this, if it stirs you, pray about it. Ask God to point out to you where you may be playing it safe. Then ask Him to give you the wisdom and the courage to go for it…to play to win!

Closing the gap together,


Photo of David Roth

David Roth

David Roth has been the president and CEO of Workmatters since October, 2003. Workmatters is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in Northwest Arkansas in 2003 with a mission is to help people pursue God’s purpose for their work. Since then, Workmatters has been used to impact thousands of leaders in Northwest Arkansas and across the U.S. Prior to leading Workmatters, Mr. Roth was vice president, sales and marketing for J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. Before joining J.B. Hunt in 1999, David was the senior vice president of marketing for Manugistics, a supply chain management software provider in Maryland and vice president of marketing for American Software in Atlanta, Ga. He also has nine years of supply chain management experience with McKesson Corporation in San Francisco, Calif. and Harrison, Ark. David has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Arkansas. He resides in Fayetteville, Ark. with his wife, Theresa and has two sons, Dylan and Tyler.