It is very much like what is taught at the Cobra Kai Dojo, made famous from the Karate Kid. Put simply, second place is no place.
It doesn't seem so bad at first. Take a look.
“I, even I, am he who blots out
your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more. ~Isaiah 43:25
At first, this sounds like it is about us. Our sins get wiped out. Hooray! But it says it is for God's sake. Now it sounds like something from this blog. God didn't do this because of us. He did it because of Him. For His sake. And let's keep in mind the action happening here. God, for His own sake, is removing our sins. In case you've forgotten, those are the bad things attached to us that have caused death.
So our involvement in this blotting out of sins isn't all that great to begin with. But it gets worse. Here are the verses just before verse 25.
“Yet you have not called on me, Jacob, you have not wearied yourselves for me, Israel. You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings, nor honored me with your sacrifices.I have not burdened you with grain offerings nor wearied you with demands for incense. You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me, or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices.But you have burdened me with your sins
and wearied me with your offenses. ~Isaiah 43:22-24
And here are the verses just after verse 25.
Review the past for me,
let us argue the matter together;
state the case for your innocence.
Your first father sinned;
those I sent to teach you rebelled against me.
So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple;
I consigned Jacob to destruction
and Israel to scorn. ~Isaiah 43:26-28.
God goes to some pretty good detail telling us how much its not about us. Because it's not. It's silly to think that it ever was. But second place, even a distant second, is still a good place to be.
The Cobra Kai were wrong. When God is in first place, second place is the only place I want to be.