We Need to Lose

I like to win. I am competitive. I believe anything less than 100% may as well be 0. I don’t whole-heartedly believe Ricky Bobby’s classic line in Talladega Nights, but I think it’s kind of funny and slightly relevant: “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

I’ve been last before, plenty of times. I went from placing in the top 3 nearly every track meet one year, to being dead last the following year. (Life is funny in that way.) So yes, I have lost. But have I really lost? I don’t always get my preference with where my friends and I go to dinner, but I still get a good meal . . . is that losing? You study hours for a test, only to fall a few points short from the grade you need—is that a loss? I’ve had friends and family members pass away much too early, but I know they are face-to-face with Jesus; did I really lose?

I don’t know the answers to those questions. I know how they make me feel, which is usually less-than-desirable, but I do not know what the technical and universal definition of losing is. What I do know is that Philippians 3:8 says, What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.

So yes, we can deem the crummy things life throws at us a loss. But guess what? The great things, the magnificent things—our accomplishments, awards, accolades—are a loss as well. Everything on this earth can be deemed a loss compared to what we have, what we gain, and who we are in Jesus Christ.

I so often feel like my life is a series of wins and a series of losses. A hot streak followed by a dark season. A ton of wins followed by a series of unfortunate events. However, my hot streaks, my victories, and my triumphant wins are still losses. Huge, detrimental losses in comparison to the true, pure victory that has already been won.

So we are allowed to lose. We are allowed to lose positions, to fall short, to need more or to desire less, because at the end of the day, it is all a loss compared to Jesus Christ. We should lose. We should lose this world, our possessions and our time for Christ. To know Him, to love Him, to love His people. There is inexpressible joy in knowing Christ. A joy that surpasses and tramples chocolate cake, plaques, and football scoreboards. A joy that heals death, illness, rejection and regret.

Christ is the ultimate prize. Christ is the only victory we need. Christ has already won.