When she was a child, Nancy was taught that winning isn’t everything; it’s how you play the game that counts. But when she became an adult, she adopted another approach to life. As the wife of Dick Howser, manager of the Kansas City Royals baseball team, she agreed with her husband’s philosophy that it doesn’t matter what you do—as long as you win.

Then they had a harrowing experience that brought about a reversal in their values. Dick was afflicted with brain cancer, forcing him to resign as manager. “After what has happened,” said Nancy, “I realized that my priorities in the so-called real world were all wrong. Now Dick and I know that the old way was right.”

We may be so determined to win in the competitive game of life that we turn our backs on the principles laid down in Scripture. Sometimes God in love lets us undergo pain and loss to motivate us to readjust our values and priorities. He lovingly chastens His children so that they will produce the fruit of righteousness (Heb. 12:11). And through our testimony, He brings non-Christians to see that only biblical principles can guide us safely through the deceptive maze of earthly ambitions.

Let’s learn from our losses.