Zero Sum

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Zero Sum

Pride and an offended spirit will cause you to operate in a zero-sum environment. Zero sum is a frame of mind in which if one wins, then the other must lose. Man’s economy is zero sum. God’s economy revolves around love and unity.

In the book of Esther we learn of a high official who is filled with the desire to be recognized as being above everyone else. In the following passage, we see 6 examples of Haman’s pride and offended spirit in Esther 6: 9-13 .

Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai (Mordecai would not bow down to Haman). Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home.

Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife, Haman

“1.” (Pride)” boasted to them about his vast wealth,
“2.” his many sons, and
“3.” all the ways the king had honored him and
“4.” how the (the King) had elevated him above the other nobles and officials. “And that’s not all,” Haman added.
“5.” I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow.
“6.” (Hatred)” But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.” Esther 6:9-13

Since Mordecai would not bow down to Haman, Haman wanted Mordecai killed. Pride reaches out and consumes others. Pride blurs your value and self worth. Pride creates the zero sum game of “I must win in order for you to lose.”

Offended people operate in a zero-sum environment. They think you can’t be a winner unless you lose. They want you to serve them, because that’s how they assure themselves they are better than you. With Mordecai, Haman saw his personal worth challenged. Mordecai wouldn’t bow down; he would not give to Haman the reverence which he saw as being due only to God. Haman was threatened by Mordecai. Haman’s self-value – his self-understanding of who he was and why he was valuable – wasn’t fortified with the truth of God’s love for him. Haman was not a worshiper of God but a worshiper of himself. If you worship yourself you really have no idea who you are in Christ. You cannot see clearly.

You are redeemed. You can celebrate when others win. You are an agent of redemption to this lost and fallen world.


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