This life is filled with winners and losers. In every sporting event or political election someone has to win and someone has to lose. However, no one wants to be a loser. We all race to win. Jesus gave all that serve him a hard commandment to follow when he said: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Mt 16:25).
We must remember that the cross was the most cruelest form of death in the time of Jesus. Just before Jesus was crucified he was nearly beat to death, and then made to carry the crossbeam of his cross to the place of crucifixion (Calvary). To carry your cross is to go where you don’t want to go and to do what you don’t want to do. “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour” (Jn 12:27). Jesus dreaded the cross and yet voluntarily went to it for our sakes. “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness–by whose stripes you were healed” (I Pet 2:21-24). That is the level of commitment Jesus asks of each Christian follower of his. Paul made it clear that no faithful Christian is exempt from this end. “ Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2 Tim 3:12). If a Christian should fall away, then shall the offense of the cross cease (Gal 5:11) Yet, a faithful Christian should not feel alone or think that these persecutions are only happening to them. Peter also said, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Pet 5:8-10).
Yes, in this life, Christians are called to lose. We are first called to be buried with Christ by baptism and raised to walk in the newness of life (Rom 6:3,4). Then we are commanded to take up our cross and follow in the footsteps of the Savior (Lk :23). Anyone who refuses to do this can’t be a disciple (Christian) of Christ (Lk 14:27). After all, the servant is not above his Master (Mt 10:24). This is the reason we are called to be a Christian (1 Pet 2:12). Christianity is not winning this life. It is about winning the life to come (1 Cor 9:24-27)!