I know their intentions meant well. I know that it was a good gesture. It made everyone fill well. It left all the kids feeling good about themselves. But here’s the issue.
There was no experience of disappointment or discontent.
Giving every participant in a competitive sport a trophy takes away something that is so essential for the development of a child. It took away the drive and determination that is so important for the human spirit. It is when we lose that we strive to do better, We strive to learn from our failures. We grow from our mistakes.
As sadistic as it may sound, our teens need to feel defeat. They need to acknowledge their weaknesses. Fredrick Douglas once said “Without struggle there is no progress.” It is in those moments that we can grow – more importantly, depend on God.
John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. John 3:27-30
May we allow our teens to experience God’s presence and grow closer to Him.