BORN TO LOSE
Norman Vincent Peale was visiting China many years ago when he came across it. He was passing a tattoo shop and was astonished to see a tattoo advertised in English. It was BORN TO LOSE. I'm assuming he was helped by some companion when he went in to enquire about it. He wanted to know if many people asked for that particular one and the man said it was quite popular and that some customers had it put on their foreheads. "Why would anyone want to have such a thing tattooed on his forehead?" Peale asked him. The man thought for a moment and then patting his chest he said, "It must already be tattooed on their heart."
I've known a few people down the years who threw themselves into wickedness with such abandon that it seemed as if they thought they had to. Still, they chose cruelty and vice, and whatever else we might wonder about we can't deny the wickedness and we must call it what it is.
I've seen despair in some alcoholics I've known; people who no longer choose to drink but are dragged along by the booze they once chose freely and who now in their sober moments stare into space, wondering how and where it all began. Some of them are certain there's no way out, this is how they will end their lives—and it frightens them. One said to me some time ago in that despairing way, "I'm just a beat old drunk!"
Not long before he died it's said that wicked Lord Byron mused with himself, wondering if he should sue for peace with God. He decided he had gone too far for too long and told himself to have some decency and play it out to the end; "Let me be a man." Before he lost his way in the matter of faith and became an agnostic, the famous historian, Will Durant, begged God with many tears to let Lord Byron out of hell. I wonder what he saw in Byron beyond the obvious marks of degeneracy that led him to pray such a fervent prayer?
What are we to say of (and to) the multiplied millions who were born (and are being born) into crushing poverty, abuse, a culture that saw to it that they'd never know anything different? I'm talking about those people in their tens of millions in every generation who seemed to have tattooed (invisibly) on their foreheads from childhood: BORN TO LOSE.
They grow up (if they get to grow up) and they become sinners like the rest of us…and yet…they're not like the rest of us though they are sinners. Their lives are nothing like ours. They have no faith in Jesus. [How can they have faith in him of whom they haven't heard?] And because they have no faith in Jesus there are those who insist that they were CREATED TO LOSE. [Believe that if you can!]
Sin is sin, wickedness is wickedness and since he came not to condemn the world but to save it, Jesus must have thought we were in unimaginable danger. So there's no going back on that. To make little of sin is to make little of the Master.
Still, he came! There is the incarnation and what it led to! There is an event we celebrate at a time we call "Christmas". And his coming forbids us to accept the description: BORN TO LOSE and it brands as sheer nonsense the doctrine that there are those who are: CREATED TO LOSE.
Think noble things of God!
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.