How to Be a Loser
By Jordan Sparnroft
I’m a sore loser, and so are the seven-year-olds I teach. I hate losing a game of chess to my husband, and my students hate losing a race to the playground. As humans, we hate losing no matter what age we are. We hate losing childish games or when our favorite team loses a championship. We hate losing our health, our money, our loved ones, our jobs...losing is never fun or easy.
As I’m teaching my students how to lose well, I use Jesus as our example and doing so speaks directly to my sore heart. I tell my students that Jesus was the ultimate "loser." He lost the comfort of His heavenly kingdom and the presence of His Father to come into this broken and evil world as a poor and weak infant to bear the weight of all humanity’s sin. However, unlike us, Jesus was anything but "sore" in His loss.
Twice in the book of Matthew, Jesus calls us to be losers. In both verses, He tells us to take up our cross, follow Him, and lose our lives for His sake—and there we will find true and lasting life. He does not hide the fact that following Him requires losing. It requires losing our pride, our popularity, our need for control, our idols—everything we hold dear. In return we gain something far greater—something that moths cannot eat and thieves cannot steal and a hope that does not put us to shame.
On Good Friday, let us look to the founder and perfecter of our faith: Jesus, who modeled for us what it looks like to lose for His glory. He showed us that it requires humility, endurance, and joy, so let us pray for these things!
A Prayer Against Complacency and Pride
In the midst of the mundane and my routines, I can so easily begin focusing on my own efforts and become critical of those who fail to measure up. I forget that I was so lost in my sin that You had to die for me. Would You remind me of my depravity? Replace my pride with humility. Here are the sins You have saved me from. (List sins in your life that God has freed you from and are working to free you from). There is no way I could have paid the penalty for my sin. You did this for me in Your losing, so that You might win me. May my life reflect Your humility and Your grace for Your glory, not mine.
A Prayer for Endurance
You were perfectly patient and brave as You endured the suffering of the cross. Because of the cross, You are a Savior who can empathize with our human suffering. We approach You with confidence and humility as we ask You to give us the grace to bravely and patiently endure our sufferings. (List what you are struggling with and express your anger, your sadness, and your despair to Jesus and ask Him for endurance).
A Prayer for Joy
I and Your people were the joy that was set before You as You endured the cross. You knew the end of the story. I know that this world is not the end. I know that You are coming back once and for all! I place my hope in You as I lose this life because I know the glory of Your Presence will outweigh my current suffering. I praise You that because of the cross and Your resurrection we have this hope. Help me to cling to You with all of my strength as You hold on to me.
About Jordan: Lives in historic central Virginia with her husband and daughter. She is a first grade teacher at a Christian school, and loves early mornings and spending time with her family.