To Win, To Lose

So last weekend the Chicago Bears (NFL) lost to the Packers. It happens!

Earlier that day the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) lost to Philly.

The same weekend the U.S. national soccer team (the Real football) tied 1-1
with Chile in a game I thought they should have won. It was only a “friendly”, a game the coaches focus on player development and to bring them experience. It helps the staff evaluate strengths and weaknesses.

It’s easy to win with grace. Losing with grace and respect is another matter.

Wrestling with pettiness in a local church or ministry, problems on the mission field, within a family, or at work can really seem like a loss.

At times we get discouraged, frustrated or plain angry. It’s true of all nationalities, but Americans truly HATE losing.

Political losses have ripped many a country apart.

Economic losses, illness, the loss of a child, hunger, or basic temptations such as lust or pride have been tearing people apart since the days of Cain and Abel. Nobody wants to hear a “no”. Didn’t get my way. I lost.

But “in everything give thanks for this IS the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”. Hmmm. Everything?

At least one clear view from what the Spirit brought via St. Paul is simply that no matter what, including hardship- all of it can and should bring us closer to God. Sometimes (like to Paul 3 times when he asked for God to deliver him of a malady) God Himself apparently says “no”. We had better be careful to check our heart in loss… because it’s likely He is.

The truth is that failing often does more for us than succeeding. Odd truth, but it’s reality in many cases.

Sometimes the lessons come as we go to Him -because nobody and nothing
else seems to bring that deeper sense of comfort and peace we’re seeking.

I’m rarely discouraged, but I find I often fail. I mean with my thoughts, words, actions, and of course with various things I do all the time such as speaking, music-making and so on.

Every message isn’t wonderful or in a rightly critical sense, a job well done. Every song I write, or blog or conversation I have a good one (on my part). Every choice I make isn’t always pleasing to God, nor others, nor even to myself.

Yet in the dark moments of my life, in the fail or seeming fail, I have learned to throw myself at Jesus’ feet in prayer, in searching out His Word in the Bible, by talking and praying with godly friends I trust who will shoot me straight… and sometimes straight at me as I need it 🙂

I’m not always a good loser. But years ago I wrote a phrase in a song lyric with all I’ve written here in mind:

“But when you lose, you win- that’s the way it is
That’s when the love comes down”.

Absolutely so! Thank God for daily grace for the journey, not only the high roads, but the low as well. This is how humility and maturity grow in us. A loss truly can be a genuine win, an advance, a time to learn and not just in theory or concept but in reality. Character is formed by loss.

Don’t get me wrong, losing isn’t fun and the pain is real! Yet God is near to those Who seek Him… win or lose. Sometimes losing accomplishes more good in us than winning.

Keeping a “right heart” toward God either way -is how we win even in a loss.

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

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