I Coulda Been A Contender

August 26, 2013 — Leave a comment


This scene from On The Waterfront is iconic, and descriptive of how I have felt off and on for years. “You don’t understand! I coulda had class – I coulda been a contender! I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am!”

Off and on for years, Satan has been busting my chops with this. “You used to be somebody. What happened? You used to be someone, now look at you. Who are you? Nobody! Just a bum!”

Off and on for years I have listened to that, and I’ve let it affect me and I’ve let it keep me from being who I really am.

I wasn’t created to be a contender. I wasn’t created to be somebody important. I wasn’t created to be well known.

The reason I listen to those lies is because I listened to the lies! I believed I was created and given the talents I have so that I could move mountains and be famous and do awesome things. I listened to those lies and worked myself to death and did big and wonderful things and moved mountains and nobody even cared. When it was all over, life went on for everybody but me. Because my whole life was built on the lie that I could be somebody important.

God is our defender, he fights for us, we are his! A wonderful person from my church just said that this moment on my television! I fought for myself for so long – I never dreamed of a life where somebody would fight for me. I never dreamed of a life where God would fight for me and call me His!

In On The Waterfront, Terry Maloy is a great boxer who took a dive at the direction of a mob boss. He is tormented the rest of his days by this – if he had won, the world would have been at his feet, he could have been somebody!

So it goes for all of us who fight our own battles. If I had just done this one thing differently, if I had just known what I know now, if, if, if.

The lie is in the if, the lie is in thinking it has anything to do with us. The lie is in thinking I can fight for myself and win! It’s not about me, not about you, not about what we accomplish, not about how awesome we think we are. Not about us – all about Him!

On my own, I am a bum! Thank God I am not on my own – thank God I am His! Thank God that through Jesus His Son I am also a son! And thank God that what I have to do consists of being still and letting Him fight for me!

I was created to be a son of God. There’s nothing else. That’s it. Anything else is from me, and will fail.

So – whatever or wherever you are in life right now, know this – Our God is a warrior God, and he will not ever stop fighting for you! You are worth that much to him – worth the blood and life of his Son, worth the risk of being rejected. You are worth fighting for! Even when you were dead, lost, adrift in this world without any hope at all, God, having a wealth of mercy, made a way to save you, to lift you up from the pit you were in, and if you’re his, you’re his forever.

The lies are exposed for what they are, God is victorious, and you can be saved!

Ask him right now – to forgive you, to save you, to make you whole and make you his child. He’s already moved heaven and earth to do it! It’s already done – all you have to do is stop fighting for yourself. All you have to do is be still, and he will finish the fight!


Rich Nifong

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I love Jesus, my wife Cheryl, my girls Trinity and Zoey, Gateway Church, long walks in the rain and anything on Discovery.

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