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Losing and Winning

Losing and Winning

My friend and his wife used to argue all the time. It got to the point that they needed to hire a marriage counselor, or “referee” as my friend called her.

They met with the referee.

The referee listened to them fight.

She asked the husband, “So when you fight, what are you trying to accomplish?”

My friend, the husband, said, “To win.”

“What does that make you?” asked the referee.

“The winner,” said my friend.

“What does that make your wife?” asked the referee.

“The loser,” he said.

“Do you want to be married to a loser?” asked the referee.

Richard Rohr said this: “Christianity is probably the only religion in the world that teaches us, from the very cross, how to win by losing.”

Jesus said, “For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”

This is so upside down.

I’m a Philadelphia Eagles fan. Why? I was born there. And let me tell you, being an Eagles fan is a painful thing to be. We generally are good, but we either don’t make the playoffs or we lose during them. Every year since my existence has ended in disappointment. We have never won the Super Bowl, and chances are we won’t win this one.

Let me tell you. I want us to win the Super Bowl bad. I’m not the only Eagles fan like this, but I honestly would cut off a finger if it helped us win the Super Bowl (not sure how that would help, but you get the idea). We Eagles fans really want a Championship.

When the Phillies won a few years ago, I cried. I literally wept on the floor. And that was for the Phillies. I don’t know what I would do if the Eagles won.

And here I am following Jesus who talks about how losing is winning and winning is losing.

It’s so jacked up.

Then, I think about how Jesus lost his life for me – so that I, in a sense, could win. That now, because of losing – Jesus stands victorious. And he’s inviting me to follow him.

“Deny yourself, take up the cross, follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

This is winning life. Everything else is just a game. Win, lose, come what way. In the end, at the end, we win because of Jesus. Any attempt to win any other way makes losers of us.

You don’t want to be a loser, do you?

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Ned Erickson

Ned is the Founder and Executive Director of the Winston-Salem Fellows, a non-profit dedicated to equipping people to live seamless lives as they grow into the men and women they were created to be. He is the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed novel Clay. He, his wife, two children, dogs, rabbit, guinea pig, turtle, and chickens live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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