I really enjoyed the Final Four on Saturday, and I’m looking forward to the National Championship between UNC and Gonzaga tonight, but before moving on I want to look back at the incredible runs made by South Carolina and Oregon.

I’m always intrigued to hear the postgame interviews with the losing coaches outside of the locker room. South Carolina’s head coach, Frank Martin, especially didn’t disappoint.

These are the profound thoughts he shared with his team just moments before:

“People keep score when you play games 35, 36, 37 times a year, and sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t. That score eventually goes away. When you impact people by the masses the way these kids have, that means you’re a winner as a human being and that’s what matters.

“When we get home and they realize what they’ve done in our community, their hearts will open up with joy because they’ll be so happy that the pain of losing a game eventually goes away.”

Not only in sports culture, but also in life, people are focused on winning and defining success by a scoreboard. As an extremely competitive guy, I struggle with viewing anything less than first place as a success. After all, how can we view falling short of a goal as positive?

But when looking at the bigger picture and realizing what truly matters to God, we see that He cares about our heart, our faithfulness, and how we love others.

He doesn’t look at the scoreboard like we do (filled with championship wins, sales numbers, money in the bank, audience size, and awards on the shelf), but is concerned with our character and the people we impact along the journey.

Whether or not we reach our goals in sports and business, can we say we are a “winner as a human being?” Do we believe the “run” is about more than just finishing first? Are we willing to place value on our impact, instead of the score?

God sees our heart and is looking for love and faithfulness. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 3:3-4 (ESV), “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.”

As followers of Jesus, we must take an honest look at what we consider success, and be willing to see the impact and joy that can even come from being on the wrong side of the scoreboard.

Enjoy the game tonight. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, forgive me for being so concerned with the wrong kind of success and winning. Help me to focus on the impact I can have on others along the journey, and embrace the work You’re doing in my heart. I pray I would be loving and faithful through everything you call me to do. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.