Winning by losing

Winning by losing

Apr 10
Winning by losing

We all lose things.

For some people it’s their health.  For others it’s their spouse or someone they love dearly.  Sometimes it’s a friend.  Sometimes it’s a treasured possession.  Sometimes it’s a home.  Sometimes it’s life itself.  In every case, loss is painful.  It can be excruciating.  It’s so prevalent and such a natural part of life that we have many sayings related to suffering and loss.  We say things like “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” or “You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.”  We try to recognize that sometimes loss is a good thing.

I remember once at my office when we fired someone.  It was a terrible struggle.  I remember later seeing the person who made the decision.  She looked beat up.  I could tell she was still agonizing over the decision, even after the guy had already been let go.  I asked her if she’d ever played Chess.  She said she hadn’t.  So I asked if she’d ever played Checkers.  She had.  I asked if she’d ever tried to win without losing a piece.  A look of comprehension and relief washed over her.  “You can’t,” she whispered.

Suffering and loss are part of the human condition.  We can’t win without losing pieces.

But God can.

Often when playing a game like Chess I will sacrifice a piece to open up the means to a victory.  The same is true in Checkers, where forcing your opponent to take one of your pieces results in a better outcome.

Rather than sacrifice any of His pieces, God sacrificed Himself.

Jesus tell us that the person who wants to save his life will lose it, but the person who loses his life for Jesus will save it.  He tells us to give our possessions to the poor so that we will have treasure in Heaven.  He tells us to love others as we love ourselves.  He tells husbands to love their wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.

The apostle Paul will later write in his letter to the Romans, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

God showed us that the way to win is to lose, because what this world counts as winning isn’t.  That’s how God chooses to show His power, by turning “losers” into winners.  God became a man and died.  That isn’t the Hollywood story-book ending.  Then He shocked the universe with His power by not only conquering death, but by elevating the most despised man in the world and giving Him the name that is above every name:  Jesus.

To anyone who says that God uses us as pawns, I assert that our God will not allow even a single one of His “pawns” to be lost.  In the cosmic “Chess” game, the King wins by giving Himself rather than lose a single piece.

I’m delighted to be one of the most precious pawns ever created.


  1. Cindy Childress

    Love this!

  2. Noel

    There were so many parts of this I wanted to quote while sharing on facebook that I just posted it “as is.”

    Awesome thought.
    I mean that.

    • Thank you so much, Noel. Thank you for sharing it. I hope that God uses it to bless someone I’ve never met.

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