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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Truth As Far As I Can Tell… The Art of Losing

1 Peter 5:6 – So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.

            Jiu-jitsu is a martial art that uses grappling to defeat an opponent.  Unlike other martial arts like karate and kung fu that teach kicking and punching, jiu-jitsu teaches students to wrestle an opponent to the ground and choke them or twist their joints until they submit.  When a student establishes a proper choke or joint lock, their opponent submits by tapping them so they will release the hold and not injure the opponent.  The “tap” is the most important move in jiu-jitsu.  It allows students to spar at full power without getting hurt and clearly defines when a person submits and the match is over. 
It doesn’t take long for jiu-jitsu students to let go of their ego.  You can’t hang on to your pride for very long when you are getting “tapped out” on a regular basis by people who are smaller and weaker than you.  Even the best jiu-jitsu artists tap out thousands of times in the course of their training.  Tapping out is a great way to learn.  When you tap, you go back and figure out what you did wrong and try again. 
            What is true for jiu-jitsu is true for life.  No one likes to lose.  No one likes to admit their mistakes.  It damages your pride and humbles you, but that’s a good thing.  Losing and admitting our faults are the best ways to learn.  The Disciples messed up again and again in the New Testament and, by God’s grace, it was OK.  They learned from their mistakes and went on to do better.  Through these flawed, mistake-prone people, Jesus established his Church and changed the world forever.
            Since Christians are the Disciples’ spiritual descendants, we should give ourselves and others the freedom to make mistakes, fail, and try again.  We have to change our attitudes so that losing isn’t seen as the end.  It’s just a chance to learn and improve.  Selfish-pride and ego should have no place among God’s people.  Lighten up on yourself and others too.  Seek to be and do your best, but understand that the road to your best will most likely lead through many failures along the way.  If you don’t make a few mistakes, you are playing it too safe. 
            So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.  Of course, I’m no expert and certainly don’t claim to know everything, but that’s the Truth as far as I can tell…

God loves you and so do I,