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Winning through Losing

September 1, 2010

People don’t like to lose.  People are fond of saying that they hate losing.   They’re winners.  They’re people you’d want on your team.  However, I’m calling on everyone to give losing a second look.   Scripture says that you’ve got to lose in order to win.  In other words, if you can’t lose, you’re not going to win.  The Bible magnifies losing.

First, I point you to Philippians 3.  Paul saw losing as a necessity for the ultimate and supreme gain.  He wrote (3:7-8):

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.

Winning through losing.   Lose you, win Christ.  And Paul was saying something that Jesus had already said, using the same verb (zemioo, lemma ten times in NT), in Matthew 16:26,

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Mark 8:36,

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

and Luke 9:25.

For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

I think Paul knew he was using the same kind of talk, the exact word too, that Jesus used.  You need to lose in order to win.  If you lose your soul or life or self, you gain eternal life.  You lose everything for the pearl of great price.  Only someone who believes in Jesus Christ would do this.  It is believing in Jesus Christ to “count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.”

So you win everything by losing everything.  But I believe that a lot of our life is also a microcosm of this.  And I point you to relationships.   You could see your argument as your territory, as your little kingdom, your little fiefdom that you can’t give up.  You must win at all costs.  So even if you’re wrong, you keep arguing.  You’ve got to win.  And when you win, you lose.  If you lose, you win.  You have to make that choice.

Your wife says she didn’t.  You say she did.  Your husband says he said this.  You say that he said that.  When I said that, you gave me a look.  I did not.  Did too.  Did not.  Did too!  Did not!  Did too!!!  Did not!!!!  So she did, and you say she didn’t, and you dig in, and you win.  But not really.  You lost.  It’s funny.  At the time, you thought you were winning, but when you were done, you found out that you had lost.  You really are a looozer.

The Bible is full of paradox and irony.  This is one of those you must understand and inculcate if you are going to be that winner you think you are.

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