Thursday, July 26, 2012

Love is Losing ... To Win

 I don't like losing.  Never have.  Ever.  Elementary school playground games and races.  Grades.  Track and Field.  Monopoly.  Volleyball.  Capture the Flag.  I am very very very competitive.  I remember during my senior year in my high school track and field career, winning every hurdle race in my district......until the district championship race where I lost to my best friend by .02 of a second.  Does anyone actually like losing? Is there anyone honestly out there who is like, "yeah, I love losing! It's one of my hobbies." I would love to meet you!  You know what the hardest aspect of losing is? Love. Forgiveness.  Compromise.  I am still struggling with this concept even as I write it so bear with me.

I think the act of losing in regards to love and forgiveness is inconceivably selfless.  Jesus tells us to forgive 70*7 times or in essence, just continually forgive! Oh so often, I continue to think that if a person continually wrongs me, or doesn't learn, after about 10 times (or like 3 depending on the situation) . . . . (ok more like 1) ... then I should not have to forgive them.  Whats the point if their not going to learn?  When selflessness and selfishness end up in the same bowl, they separate like oil and water.  I know I've had instances in my life where this has occurred - Where you continually forgive and apologize and rectify situations with someone who doesn't care.  It's hard.  I really have nothing else to say about that.  I'm sure we've all been there.  It's in those instances where we feel used, neglected, one sided, even trampled, that we want to take up our pride and our anger and fight back.  That happened to me today.  Dealing with scenarios like that, it feels like losing.  over.  and over.  and over.  How many times do I have to continue to forgive that person? How many times do I have to keep losing?

And then Jesus answers and says keep going.
"Because I'm still forgiving you. and you haven't caught me yet."
"I momentarily lost everything for all of you.  But I want you to know, that losing brings victory! I know you can't see that right now, but keep going!"

That's basically the convo I had with God earlier today during my prayer.

There won't always be compromise.  Some times people, (usually we most often notice it in others, but we all have it in ourselves) will continually wrong you and not give anything back.  They will only want to serve themselves and not bring anything even remotely resembling humility to the table.  That's when losing is the hardest.  Nothing about that feels like winning.  I have had one relationship in my life that comes to mind where criticisms would be brought up.  They would criticize me and initially I internally wouldn't like it, but eventually I would take it and think about it and grow.  There would never be a conflict or quarrel.  But the minute I would ever criticize them, a scenario would explode that caused the two parties to get upset and escalate the situation.  And it wouldn't be until I got back to losing did anything ever resolve.  I could never expect them to lose.  Believe me, I tried.  It's hard to continually lose that one-sided conflict every time.  But I also know that God took my one-sided relationship with Him and loved me anyway! no matter what! He knew the secret to winning.  Love and forgiveness.  He conquered it all and gave us all victory even though we didn't deserve it.

I know I have been that selfish person a lot in my life that continually just wants to win those small battles and doesn't secede.  Let's be honest, that's the side that we most often find ourselves on and the side we often want to be on.  And even when friends say "sayonara" and give up losing, God never does.  So no matter what side of the spectrum you are on, you can glean from what Jesus did for you! This short video Journal by Tenth Avenue North speaks right to this post...

Here is how most of that song that he is journaling about goes.  I couldn't write it out any better so I will leave you with these lyrics.  - -

"I can't believe what she said
I can't believe what he did
Oh, don't they know that it's wrong
Well maybe there's something I missed
But how could they treat me like this
It's wearing out my heart,
The way they disregard.
Well it's only the dead that can live
But I still wrestle with this
To lose the pain that's mine
seventy times seven times
Cause Lord it doesnt feel right
For me to turn a blind eye
Though I guess it's not that much
When I think of what You've done.
This is love or this is hate
We all have a choice to make. 

Why do we think that our hate's gonna break a hard heart?
We're rippin' arms over wars that don't need to be fought
Cause pride won't let us lay our weapons on the ground.......
.....Well truth be told it doesn't matter if they're sorry or not
cause freedom comes when we surrender to the sound of Your mercy and grace...

Oh Father give me the grace to forgive them cause I feel like the one losing. "

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