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you don’t always have to win

Jesus was a real loser. At least that’s how a lot of folks in power would have seen him. He never conquered even one city, told his followers to “turn the other cheek,” hung out with the powerless, outcast and hated, and willingly gave up his own life when he could have defended himself. What kind of weak loser does that?

In the eyes of power culture, it’s all about winning – winning arguments, winning games, winning followers, winning elections and ultimately, winning control. History, after all, is written by the winners, right? Not exactly. The story of Jesus, in the lens through which that statement is usually made, could not be further from the winners circle. No, like many of those who we now view as truly great, there was much pain and loss on their way to true greatness. And ultimately, death.

In fact, it may well be the truth that there is NO life without death. That’s what Jesus seems to be teaching when he tells us we have to “take up our cross daily.” The cross is a killing tool, not a winning too. 

There certainly can’t be resurrection without death. I think it may be true that finding the life that is truly life goes through one path alone: dying to self. 

So the next time you feel the need to “win,” consider this: you don’t need to. The way of Jesus is the way of death…unto life. Not winning, unto power. It’s ok if you lose that social media argument for the sake of relationship. It’s ok if you swallow that pride when it hurts to bring healing in your marriage. It’s ok when you walk away from what you hold dear and lay it down for the sake of another. That, after all, is the greatest love. And that is what Jesus did for us.


Grace and Peace,

Pastor Joel

Joel Searby

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