Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard the news. On Saturday, Manny Pacquiao went head-to-toe with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather and lost. But we won’t bore you with the details of the fight. That’s not what this is about. Not at all. This is about learning how to accept defeat, bounce back from it and then thank God for the lessons. So grab a pen and paper and take notes on these suggestions for handling a tough loss.
1. Accept it. In life, you will face defeat. It may come in the form of a failed exam, a rejection from your dream school or a really bad break up. The point is that defeat is unavoidable. In order to overcome it, you have to first accept what has happened. Sometimes God has plans for you that are in direct conflict with what you may want for yourself. In those times, you have to trust, that in the end, a greater purpose will be served. There’s no need to be sad or angry about it.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
2. Learn from it. There is a blessing and a lesson in every trial that God sends your way. Instead of getting upset when things don’t work out as planned, shift your perspective. Focus on the positives. Yes, Pacquiao lost this fight. However, he’s used the public stage as a platform to inspire his people back home and to profess his love for Jesus Christ to millions of people around the world. That, in our eyes, makes him a winner.
“I’ve always fought for my country, in my own way, showing that Filipinos are a strong people and can do anything that they put their minds to.” Manny Pacquiao
3. Move past it. Pacquiao stepped into that ring with the bravery, valor and courage that David had when he fought Goliath. And although Pacquiao lost his fight, that doesn’t make him any less brave, any less courageous or any less human being, than he was before the fight. Not at all. The same goes for you. After you’ve learned all that you can from your trials, you have to let them go and allow them to stay in your past. The important thing to remember is that your defeats do not define you. You can bounce back and move forward, stronger than ever.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Thank God for it. After experiencing defeat, it can be difficult to turn to God and say, ‘Thank you”. However, if you have faith in Him and His plans for you, then you know that there’s purpose in your defeat. He has a plan for you. You may not see it now, but trust and believe He’s clearing a mighty path for you. And for that, He is deserving of your praises, even in tough times.
“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19b-20