“You don’t always get what you deserve in football” said the announcer as I watched Arsenal get pummeled by Barcelona in the semi-finals of the UEFA champion’s league. Be advised I am speaking from a purely one sided opinion as I am in fact an Arsenal fan. Watching Lionel Messi of Barcelona dominate the field by scoring all four goals against the Gunners was aggravating enough. But it was the officials I really had a problem with. Allow me to explain.

European football is faced paced and the clock never stops. I prefer watching a soccer match over an NFL game anytime because of these two facts. The NFL has taken a game consisting of four fifteen minute quarters and been able to stretch it out for three hours!! Who has that kind of time?? And, who wants to spend the majority of that time watching beer and truck commercials? Not me.

However, there is a down side to soccer. One we Americans would have a problem with; there is no challenging an official decision. The NFL has allowed us to scream “look at the tape!” and thus decisions have been over-turned upon review. In soccer that option does not exist. You abide by the decision, good or bad and go on. Sometimes it works out against you, other times it is in your favor. In the case of Barcelona vs. Arsenal, there were many bad calls made. The officials made the decision based upon what they saw or thought they saw. Thus, the announcer commented; “In football, you don’t always get what you deserve.” Truly, Arsenal deserved better calls. I have no way to know if those calls would have made a difference in the outcome (Barcelona is a pretty good team). But, the fact remains, in football you don’t always get what you deserve and the same is true in life.

In life you don’t always get what you deserve. In life there is no challenging the decision, reviewing the tape, or stopping the clock and starting over. You deal with the decisions made and go on! You must get up; dust yourself off and keeping playing to win! Because in life you don’t always get what you deserve! Refuse to allow yourself to collapse into a sobbing heap of self pity. Refuse to allow yourself to be crippled by life’s circumstances. Refuse to cry “foul” every time something doesn’t go the way it should have. Refuse to whine and moan about how unfair it all is. The truth is life ain’t fair: get use to it!! KEEP PLAYING TO WIN.

Yeah, the decisions that got you where you are may have been bad ones. Yeah, you may not deserve what has happened to you. But are you going to be a victim or a victor? If you keep playing eventually good decisions will be made in your favor. If you stay in the game, you will get that undeserved decision to benefit you. The only way to win is to play on. Push through the hurt. Push through the disappointment. Push through the defeats. Stay in the game and win!

Romans 8:35-37 New Living Translation

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us’’

No, you may not always get what you deserve, but if you stay in the game victory is certain!

Author's Bio: 

Daniel Toops is a writer, motivational speaker, and pastor. He is the creator of "Better Thinking Better Living" a company designed to help people reach the potential they were created to enjoy. Dan resides in Palm Bay, Florida with his wife Patti.