the first will be last

When to Choose to Lose

The benefit of choosing to lose is not just limited to weight loss. Although in most arenas of life losing carries negative connotations, especially if it is a choice; there are times when choosing to lose is the wisest, most beneficial thing we can do. In fact the Bible spells out some specific circumstances in which we are actually encouraged to choose to lose.

Choosing to lose is not something most people find easy to do. We do not want to lose. However, choosing to lose in a Biblical sense is rooted in a confident trust in God. It is only possible when we yield our expectations and preferred results to Him.

A case in point is when we find ourselves in an interpersonal conflict. Disagreements of opinion have a way of escalating as all the parties involved seek to prove the rightness of their point of view. We naturally associate proving we are right with winning the conflict. But the Bible, in its wisdom, indicates that in some circumstances, the best course of action is to choose to lose.

Some conflicts are ultimately won through choosing to lose rather than choosing to win.

The book of Proverbs gives a number of illustrations of this lose to win strategy in relational conflict. “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.” (26:20) “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (15:1) “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger and it is his glory to overlook a transgression.” (19:11) Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man. But any fool will quarrel.” (20:3)

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The counter intuitive ways of God

I slept in a separate bedroom from my wife last night. No we didn’t have a fight. I am still in radioactive isolation. (See yesterday’s blog Watchout! I’m radioactive!) This was a first. Never in over 40 years of marriage have we slept in separate bedrooms under the same roof. That my friend, is a testimony to the grace of God in being the reconciler in our marriage, and not to any merit of mine.

This whole cancer thing has driven home to me like nothing before the counter intuitive ways of God. (Isaiah 55:9) See If life is short, how should I live? and Do not waste your troubles. God’s economy is the opposite of the world’s. He turns foolishness into wisdom, weakness into strength and what others despise into a treasure. (1 Corinthians 1:25-29)

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