“Nice guys finish last.” The saying has become part of the accepted wisdom of our culture. You can be nice, play by the rules, and be considerate of others, and lose out. Or you can cut in line, be aggressive, push other people around, and get ahead. It seems that it is one or the other. It seems it’s impossible to be a nice guy and finish first.
We find ourselves caught in a dilemma. We want to follow Jesus’ teachings. We want to be the people God intended us to be. We want to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. At the same time, we don’t want to lose out. We don’t want to be at a disadvantage, and we don’t want the people who depend upon us to be at a disadvantage because we won’t compete in the world on the world’s terms.
The Bible reframes the question for us. The Bible changes the question, “Will we be nice or will we finish first?” to “Do we accept God as our king or not?” The Bible tells us that God is king, that his steadfast love and faithfulness endure forever, and that he is the victor over all things. In God, the distinction between being nice and finishing first disappears. If we accept God as our king, then we can be the nice guys we want to be and trust that God will make us victors along with him.
In our sermon this Sunday we will be looking at Psalm 98 and talking about how nice guys finish first.