When I was growing up, I was taught, somehow or other, to root for the underdog. I don’t know who taught it to me. I don’t remember having a lesson on it; I just learned it.
Think about it; David was the underdog against Goliath, but with God on His side, he won anyway! And there are plenty of other Old Testament stories that have this same theme: Gideon, Deborah and Jael, Ruth, Abigail, Joseph, Esther, and Hannah, to name a few. They all walked in what little faith they had, in obedience to the LORD God, and He brought them victory, blessing, and honor in His own perfect time.
Even Jesus was considered by some to be an underdog!!
Sometimes it really bothers me to perceive the pride and arrogance that comes forth from those who are so sure that they know who will succeed and who won’t. (Don’t worry; I realize that I also sometimes have fallen into this category, and I am bothered by myself, too). But most importantly of all, I believe that this haughty attitude is an offense to the God who made us all in His image and has a master plan and purpose for each of our lives. We need to repent of this sin.
This haughty attitude divides us from people whom God has intentionally put in our lives. We could benefit from relationship with them and they with us, but when we cut them off, we both lose. However, God will use them somewhere else to do great things for Him; He doesn’t need our approval.
For most of my life I’ve been an underdog. Many times I have been made to feel less-than. But just because those around us have made us to feel less-than, it does not mean that we are less-than.
Imagine the surprise of Gideon’s family members when he suddenly was leading a victorious army against the enemy who was oppressing them all.
Imagine the surprise of:
- the Philistines and of David’s own older brothers when the giant fell.
- the men of Israel when God brought about victory through a couple of women.
- the gossipy people of Bethlehem when Ruth got married to one of their prominent, well-to-do, wise, and kind landowners.
- the people who knew Abigail’s inside story of an unhappy marriage, sudden widowhood, and then marriage to one who would become one of the greatest kings of history.
- Joseph’s brothers when they suddenly found themselves face to face with the one they had sold into slavery, remembering how they had ignored his cries for help because of their jealousy and hatred for him.
- Esther’s townspeople who had known her as a little girl, living with her uncle in a land far away from home.
- Hannah’s rival who mocked her because she had no children, when Hannah gave birth to one of the great prophets of the Old Testament and then had a few more children to boot.
Having been treated as an underdog myself, I know what it feels like to be an underdog. People look at the outward me that is not that impressive, and they make their snap judgments, as people tend to do. Then they are surprised when they find out I can actually do something special.
I welcome my fellow “underdogs”, because I know there is a lot of talent, love, and beauty of spirit under the surface just waiting for the right moment to come bubbling up to the surface!
- Are you the youngest, oppressed by older siblings like David? Welcome! Come on in!
- Are you the youngest in your family and from one of the poorest clans of your family to boot like Gideon? Come on in!
- Are you a woman in an oppressive men’s world like Deborah and Jael? Come on in!
- Are you a foreigner in a new land, facing undercurrents of prejudice like Ruth? Come on in!
- Are you suffering through an oppressive marriage, sticking it out faithfully, trusting God to fight on your behalf like Abigail? Come on in!
- Are you enslaved or oppressed because of other’s evil actions against you like Joseph? Come on in!
- Are you a captive in a foreign land like Esther? Come on in!
- Are you mocked and oppressed by someone who delights in finding the thing that bothers you the most to bring up over and over like Hannah was? Come on in!
All of these people, and all of you, and I myself, are special people, valuable in the eyes of God. Because He said so!!! He has a purpose for our lives, and He will bring it to fruition at just the right time. Keep trusting Him!
He invites and welcomes us all to come to Him through Jesus Christ.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'” John 14:6 NKJV
I love all my underdog friends. They are amazing people! I welcome any others who would like to join us; come on in!
Today I’m thankful for the underdogs, those considered by others who lean on their own understanding instead of consulting the God who made us, to be a long shot.
I’m thankful for their potential and talent.
I’m thankful for their faith and love.
I’m thankful for their inner beauty of spirit that comes bubbling up when they are shown love and kindness.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to be in community with them.
What about you? Have you ever been treated like an underdog? If so, how did it make you feel? Are you thankful for your kindred underdog community?
Have you ever thought of or treated someone else as an underdog? Do you welcome those who don’t look like you or your circle of friends? Do you just assume that they don’t have anything to offer? Have you ever considered how God may feel about that?
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