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The Weekly Winning Thought

Have You Made Plans to Lose?

By March 27, 2022No Comments

“Losing isn’t always the end, sometimes it becomes the beginning.”

-Joseph Duffy

The Gospel writers recorded Jesus repeating one saying more than any other: “Whoever loses their life for me will find it.” It appears six times in all four gospels; twice in both Matthew and Luke:

  1. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:39)
  2. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25)
  3. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:35)
  4. Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. (Luke 17:33)
  5. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. (Luke 9:24)
  6. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:25)

I believe that Jesus shared this truth with His audience so often because He wanted to be clear about the costs and benefits of being a true follower of His.

I’ve learned in my own life that it is easy to call myself a “sold out” follower of Christ when times are good. When my relationships are good, my work situation is stable, my financial assets are growing, and my health is fine. But when any of these variables change, I can find myself a bit anxious, worrying about the very things Jesus told us not to worry about, and in the process, learning the all too painful truth that perhaps I’m attached to things that I need to be losing.

I write all my blogs under the banner of “The Weekly Winning Thought” and finish each composition with the tag line, “Play to win this week in the game that really counts.” Is this a contradiction? It may sound that way unless you understand what winning in the Christian life looks like.

Winning in the world’s economy looks like this: set big career goals, put your nose to the grindstone, work hard, accumulate all you can, give a little bit away to ease your conscience, be first at everything, don’t let anybody take what’s yours, and get even with those who wrong you.

Winning in God’s economy (the game that really counts) works like this; give and you will get (Lk 6:38), giving is better than getting, (Ac 20:35), sow generously and you you’ll be rewarded (2 Co 9:6), give willingly to God’s work and He will open the window of heaven and pour out blessings that exceed your contributions (Ma 3:10); be rich in good works (1 Ti 6:18), give without expecting recognition (Mt 6:3-4), God will repay what you give to the needy (Pr 19:17), sharing what you have with those in need is a pleasing sacrifice to the Lord (He 13:16), invest your treasure for eternity (Mt 6:19-21), be humble and you will be exalted (Ja 4:10 & 1 Pt 5:6), when someone takes something from you don’t try to get it back (Lk 6:30), be humble and you will be exalted (1 Pt 5:6), choosing to come in last will put you in first place (Mt 12:16).

I don’t like losing, but Jesus commands it. We purchase insurance to protect ourselves financially against loss, but none of us plan to lose. I have difficulty “counting it all joy,” a James 1:2 instructs me to do when I experience troubles and losses of all kinds. I know what I need to do; instead of wringing my hands, I need to renew my commitment to eternal things and distance myself from the things of this earth that will soon pass away.

Jesus promised to give us peace, but not as the world gives (John 14:27). To experience the peace that He offers, we must free ourselves of the things of this world, and recognize that the losses that come our way in life are opportunities to find true life in Christ – to win in the game that really counts.

There is a difference between unplanned losses and planned losses. Unplanned losses rock our world. Planned losses rock the Kingdom. God is calling us to planned losses; the choice to lose our life in order to find true life. Yes, something that goes against our human nature (aka “sin”), but isn’t that what Christ came to fix?

Have you found true life, or are you still looking for it? Are you practicing self-preservation or complete surrender? Remember, Jesus’ most repeated statement: “You must lose your life to find it.” The real measure of our lives is how much we would be worth if we lost all that this world considers valuable. Would there be anything left?

Want to find your life? Create a plan to lose it … then act on it.

(To see a list of 100 verses from the Bible on the subject of willfully, planned losses, i.e., the giving your life and resources, click here.)

And oh yes, I almost forgot …

Play to win this week in the game that really counts!

Are you a business owner, executive, or other professional looking to grow your business and improve your life? If so, see how Bill and his firm might be able to help you: Northstar Leadership