Losing to win

It is early in wrestling season and already I can hear the collective audible groan from the crowd as you foresee yet another wrestling analogy.  (What can I say – wrestling is to the Schaller family as Nascar is to the Record’s)  Humor me and read along…..you can substitute your favorite sport/hobby/activity and the result will still be the same  J

Tanner was having a terrific season!  Out of the blocks with a bang!!  (That’s track and field – does that make it a mixed metaphor??)   His record was a fantastic 8-0 !!!  And honestly his head was getting just a little too big.  He needed to lose.  Sounds funny for a parent to say – it isn’t that you want your children to fail…..but in life I’ve learned that sometimes you have to lose to win.

All throughout the season we have league matches and individual tournaments.  It is a season of learning.  You learn your own strengths and weaknesses AND you learn your opponent’s strengths and weakness.  We video the matches and replay them in slow motion so the boys can learn where they need to improve – where they need to work harder.

As a Christ-like wannabe – I have to do exactly the same thing.  I have to spend a lot of time learning my strengths and weaknesses.  I really have to stand back and objectively look at the areas of my faith that need improving.    And then I need to work hard to turn those weaknesses in my character into strengths.  Every day is a work out as I struggle to win out over the sin and evil in my life.

You see – the goal in wrestling isn’t necessarily to have a great record.  The real goal is to win the York County Championship, then the Regional tournament, then the State title and finally to stand on the podium at Nationals!  Your season record really isn’t all that important.  A wrestler could have a 20-0 record during the season (by taking only matches that he was sure to win) and do poorly in the championships.  A wrestler could have a 10-10 record (by challenging himself against better wrestlers) and go on to win a title.

And the same is true in our lives.  Jesus doesn’t keep score.  There is no record of wins and losses.  No big spreadsheet in the sky.    He wants us to concentrate on the podium…he wants us to better ourselves for the final championship match – eternity!  Mark 8:35-36 tells us “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”

What are you willing to lose in your life to gain eternity?

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