"So the last will be first, and the first will be last."
- Jesus (Matt 20:16)
Why do nice guys/girls finish last? The short answer is that nice guys/girls don’t really finish
last, but appear to finish last
because they play by a different set of rules than the world does. The world's standards of success are the polar opposite to God's standards of success, and nice guys/girls play by God’s rules for living a decent and wholesome life.
The world says you’re a winner if you’re financially wealthy; God says you’re a winner if you’re spiritually wealthy by laying up treasures in heaven through kindness and generosity. The world says you're a winner if you're powerful; God says you're a winner if you serve others. The world says you’re a winner if you’re smart and articulate; God says you’re a winner if you use the gifts and talents he gave you to become the person He wants you to be (that is, by living up to your full potential as a human being). The world says you're a winner if you earn awards and accolades; God says you're a winner if you earn the "crown of life" by spending eternity with Him in heaven. The world says you're a winner if you're popular and well liked; God says you're a winner if He's pleased with your behavior. The world says you’re a winner if you’re physically
attractive; God says you’re a winner if you’re beautiful on the inside.
In a worldly sense, playing by God's rules is just not as exciting or immediately satisfying as playing by the world's rules. As human beings, we're wired to enjoy that lift and sense
of well being that a “hit” of adrenalin gives us. Almost everyone can remember
that high they got as a kid every time they rode their bicycle as fast as
they could down hill right on the edge of control. We get that same sense of pleasure when we push the boundaries of behavior, like that bicycle,
right on the edge of control.
Conversely, nice guys/girls seem to finish last because they add
something beyond instant gratification to the mix. They ask the question, "Is what I am doing and measuring success by right in God’s eyes?" Even non-religious, humanist nice guys/girls live by a different set of standards than the world does. They ask a similar question, "Is what I'm doing right, honest, and ethical? If the answer yes, they do it; if no, they don't do it. They ask, "Is what I'm doing going to hurt anyone or anything?" If the answer is no, they do it; if yes, they don't do it.
If we want to become true winners in the game of life, then we must live by God's standards of right conduct and not the world's.