Winning by Losing

The world tuned in to the great fight: Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather. It wasn’t just Filipino pride at stake. It seemed to be a battle between good and evil.

Photo from the internet, not mine, obvi

Their team shirts said it all. Manny’s read “all the glory and honor belongs to God,” and Floyd’s read, “TMT: The Money Team.”

Then the unthinkable happened. The underdog did not win. The hero was defeated. Goliath raised his sword, fluffed his feathers and danced around his foe.

It may sound like something losers say to make themselves feel better, but here’s the truth: you don’t always win by winning.

Before this big fight, articles were being published about Mayweather’s tendency to use his fists against the defenseless. He’s a stereotypical bad guy—the big bully.

Manny has not been silent about his recent new faith. He has quoted Bible verses and has been very vocal about who his God is.

So why didn’t the “good guy” win? Here’s a lesson to teach our children for years to come. “Winning” in the world’s point of view isn’t everything. The more important matter at hand is the heart—and eternity.

If Manny is true to the faith he claims, he can say with Paul:

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:7-11

True winning is losing, true living is dying. In the end, the point of losing or dying is to know Christ more, so you have won. And you will win, and your victory will not be an earthly crown, but eternal glory with Christ.

How can God be glorified by Manny’s loss? If Manny will show by his life and attitude, that Christ is above all–even his life and reputation.

We follow a crucified Savior.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

Don’t lose heart. A crown awaits in heaven, though ashes be our lot while on earth. Earthly loss will make heaven’s gains all the sweeter.

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