I had a very good friend who was a man of great integrity. He was most of all kind and generous. He was soft-spoken and respectable. In business, he was not only visionary, but he worked hard, always multitasked, and he treated his employees with respect and consideration. In fact, he treated them in such a way as to always tip the scales in their favor. If there was ever a need he would go the extra mile. My friend graduated from this earthly life into eternity. I will always have fond memories of his genuine compassion and sincerity as well as his kindness and friendship and support which he expressed to me directly.
He used to say that if he were to ever write a book about his life it would be entitled Winning by Losing. When those close to him were trying to understand why he sacrificed so much and often took losses to bless others, they were prone to wondering why he would be willing to go to such lengths. But my friend had discovered the key to living a life free from guilt and regret. He made sure to not leave any room for doubt concerning his love for the Lord and for people. He was the perfect example of what it meant to be an honorable businessman.
It occurs to me that when our Savior walked the earth He perfected the art of winning by losing. From His humble birth to his persecution and death, and every minute in between, His life was a constant series of losses. When He began His ministry, His family mocked Him and thought he was crazy. He traveled long dusty roads and depended on others for his sustenance. He said, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matt. 8:20; Luke 9:58). He chose the prime years of his life to teach 12 men how to win by losing. He was ridiculed, reviled, and rebutted every day. Eventually, He was friendless, rejected by His people, and hanging on the cross as the scourge of all humanity.
When others would have taken vengeance, He forgave. When others would have accepted praise, He retreated to seclusion. When others would have used His power to become famous, He said, “Tell no one.” When others would have used His wisdom to promote their greatness, He simply responded with questions to cause people to grow. The little that He had in the physical realm He shared or gave away. He was even willing to remain on the cross when those who were killing Him challenged Him to prove Himself by coming down.
If we are truly disciples of Jesus, our lives will be models of how we can win by losing. We will think of the needs of others above our own. We will love people according to their best interest. We will deny ourselves to supply others. We will take pleasure in our losses when it results in somebody else’s gain.
My friend’s son-in-law remarked about this book my good friend spoke about – that never made it to print – that had it been written it would have been a best seller. He is probably correct. But in a sense, it has been written. It was actually written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. But it was not about the life of my friend. It was about the life of the one and only Son of God.
Jesus gave it all. All to Him I owe. He won by losing. And His loss was our ultimate victory.
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” ~ Matthew 16:25
AUTHOR: Jeremiah Tatum