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Who Has The Best Loss?

Published on November 16, 2016 | By
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The college football season took an unexpected turn on Saturday when No.2 ranked Michigan fell to Iowa 14-13, and No. 3 ranked Clemson surprisingly lost to Pittsburgh 43-42. There are still a couple of weeks left in the season, and there is still time for more upsets, but it’s fascinating to consider the playoff scenario at this point. Who will be the four teams to make it in?

Alabama remains undefeated, but Clemson, Michigan, Ohio State, Louisville, and Washington can each make a case for being included, despite each team having one loss. It will be up to the College Football Playoff Selection Committee to not only consider which teams have more impressive wins, but also who has the best loss.

The Committee will take a look at how well the team played during the loss, how they bounced back from the loss, and what the team revealed about themselves during the loss. Ultimately, the Committee is not only concerned about winning, but also weighs how well a team fails. Of course teams are trying to go undefeated, but it’s going to be very interesting to see how the Committee values the losses this year.

When it comes to our own lives, we wish we could be undefeated. We desire to get our dream job on the first try, immediately meet our soulmate, make every wise financial decision, and parent our kids perfectly.

However, we know that we usually fail in each of these areas multiple times and beat ourselves up when we do. Because our culture doesn’t embrace failure very well, we can easily get caught up in perfectionism.

But I would argue that growth and maturity happen because of failure. When we lose, we gain so many intangible gifts - including a fresh perspective and desire to change. I think when we actually look back at our lives and consider the losses, we can see their value.

When we discern the lessons learned from the losses, we can readily bounce back and allow our character to grow in the process. In many ways we truly need the failures.

As followers of Jesus, we can trust that God uses our failures to make us more dependent on Him and more aware of our weaknesses. When we rest in God’s grace and strength during our losses, the suffering leads to hope as we experience the development of our character.

The Bible says in Romans 5:2-5 (ESV), "Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

We don’t like to lose, fail, or suffer, but we know it’s inevitable. Thankfully we have a perfect God who loves us and provides us victory, despite our failures. It’s not that we try to fail, but when we do, we know God helps us make it a good loss. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray that I would rely on You for strength when I deal with failure. I pray that I would see how You’re using my loss as an opportunity for growth and that my failure won’t be wasted. I thank you for the grace and love You show me in my weaknesses. Please help me not to wallow in a loss, but instead turn to You. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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