Winning by Losing: Finding Purpose in God’s Upside-Down Kingdom

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”  Jim Elliot

Competitive. You can call me that. I don’t like to lose. But winning in God’s kingdom is very different from winning on a basketball court.

In God’s Kingdom:

…the last will be first, and the first last.  Matthew 20:16 ESV

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth...

 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy…

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”  Matthew 5:3-5, 7, 9 ESV

Winning according to our world means we are first, we are proud in spirit, we celebrate, we are cocky, we crush the weak, and we rarely think about making peace. It translates in political discussions, sporting events, mommy wars, etc.

But God’s kingdom is different. He calls us to die so that we can live, to consider others above ourselves.

This means letting go of what we think will make us happy and trusting God. It means resting in God’s plan when it doesn’t make sense. It is praying for what you want and then opening your hands and saying with Jesus, “not my will, but Yours.

Often we lose along the way. But there is so much we win for eternity when we let go or lose this side of heaven.

What does this look like?

It means we give our resources (time, money) for God’s work, that means we can’t spend it on ourselves.

It means when we don’t get the job, the house, the baby we trust God’s plan.

It means we consider what others need or want instead of thinking only about ourselves.

It means we say yes to God and no to ourselves.


“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal…” Matthew 6:19-20 ESV

Instead of winning in this world let’s lay-up treasures in heaven.

Father too often I seek to win in this world and I am unwilling to think of others first. Help me open my vice grip over my desires and help me to think of others first. Help me to lay-up treasures in heaven and not treasures on this earth. Thank You for all you have done for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.