DayBreaks for 9/22/17: Playing To Lose
Note: Galen is traveling this week.
From the DayBreaks archive, 9/2007:
Last week a brother who gets DayBreaks suggested a thought on the topic of “playing to lose” and the idea captured my thoughts. This brother and I have played together on church softball teams and we have some firsthand knowledge about losing! But he wasn’t talking about softball. He was talking about our life before God. There are at least two ways of thinking about this that I’d like to explore:
First: the phrase “playing with sin” is not uncommon. What does it mean? It means tolerating the little sins in our life that we don’t think are so bad. I mean, after all, have you ever murdered someone? Been a drug “lord”? Betrayed your government? Been a terrorist who blew up innocent people? Chances are that for those of you who read this, you’ve done none of those things. They do the things they do because they don’t feel it’s wrong and because they believe those things will help make them richer and more powerful. But when we start to think that the little sins we tolerate in our lives are OK, we forget the Words of scripture from Romans 8.13: For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, … and also: Col 3.5-6: Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.
These verses should serve to remind us that “playing with sin” in our lives is like playing balloon toss with nitroglycerin. It is playing to lose, not playing to win. These verses are real clear: the things of the sinful nature don’t have to be huge things like murder or terrorism, but can be sexual immorality, impurity, lust, etc.. They are just as deadly in God’s eyes (even deadlier!), and because of that, they will bring His wrath. Doing the things that cause us to fall under the wrath of God is definitely playing to lose!!!!
Second: there is a way that Scripture talks about in which we can lose and still win. It’s all a matter of perspective – whether you look at things from God’s eyes or from the vantage point of the world and which is the most important to you. Read Matt 10.39: Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matt 19.29: And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
Here’s a situation where we WANT to be playing to lose, because in losing, we WIN! If we play our lives in such a way that we lose ourselves to the passions, lusts, greed and sinfulness of the earthly life, even to the point of forsaking the most precious things on earth (our families who would hinder us) for the cause of the kingdom, Jesus tells us that our won-loss record will be 100-1. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to throw in the real trophy: eternal life! If you do this, your friends will think you’ve lost your mind. And they’ll be right, because even your earthly mind and it’s sense of what is good, will be lost by being transformed to the mind of Christ.
In this DayBreaks, I’ve talked about “playing”. But the bottom line: this isn’t a game. Life, and what we choose to follow, is a deadly serious business. There is a huge difference between playing to lose and playing to lose so you win. Are you playing to lose or are you playing to lose so that you can win? Make sure that you are on the winning team, because when the “game” is over, it’s either eternal life or sudden death!
PRAYER: Thank you, Jesus, for winning the victory and for sharing the crown of victory and life with us! Give us the good sense to play to lose so we may win that which is wroth winning! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2007 by Galen C. Dalrymple.