In sports, I often cheer for the underdog, wanting the little guys to defeat the giants. I want the weak to overcome the strong. If I don’t care about the opponents, and the contest is nothing more than a game, why do I passionately root for the underdog, who has virtually no chance of winning?
We identify with the underdog.
I may want life to be easy, but it never is. The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Is there ever a day when I feel like I could defeat an army? Yes, but I’ve read the Bible verse that says pride precedes destruction (Proverbs 16:18). About the time I think I can, I see reasons to think I can’t. Later on—after I win—then, I can flex my muscles and pose like a superhero. Right now, I most appreciate the rags-to-riches stories.
Superheroes aren’t so super.
At first, the comic book Superman character was invincible, but that made him boring. To endure as a superhero, the author had to make him vulnerable, putting the outcome of the battle in doubt. All kinds of kryptonite were invented over the years, not just the classic green.
As soon as I think I can leap over a building with a single bound, I notice the kryptonite that keeps me humble. Without God, I’m too weak to get out of bed. I’m the underdog who can do nothing without God’s strength.
God likes the underdog.
The apostle Paul dealt with a “messenger from Satan”—present by God’s design to prevent his seeing himself as some superhero. God delights in using the weak to confound the mighty, the uneducated to amaze the university professors (1 Corinthians 1:27). Our calling to fulfill God’s purpose requires no super qualities other than surrender to the miracle he wants to work in our lives.
Easy victory tarnishes the trophy.
If I hold the high trump or get the best roll of the dice, I was just lucky. If I am a giant who crushes an ant, I have no reason to boast. Anybody could have won. I need to be the underdog so my victories come at high cost and are something significant to praise God for.
I know what it’s like, both to abound and to suffer desperate needs. In all situations, no matter how little or how much I have, I must depend on Christ for my strength and guidance. — Philippians 4:12–13, The Discussion Bible