The Philadelphia 76ers were finally winners on Tuesday night when their name was chosen for the #1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Following three straight seasons of losing more than 60 games, they reaped the benefits of a continuous commitment to rebuild their roster through the draft.
A few years ago, management decided to trade for draft picks or young players. Their plan was to field a team that would allow them to lose a lot of games and lead to a better chance of drafting a top player. This strategy has not always been praised by fans and media, but the 76ers stayed the course and did an outstanding job of losing! Now all that losing is starting to make sense, as they will draft first overall next month with the opportunity for a great player.
The idea of a team choosing to lose seems pretty perplexing in sports…and the concept that losing can lead to winning is just as baffling. However, Jesus speaks about a similar philosophy in Matthew10:39 (ESV): “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
In other words, as we begin to lose ourselves we begin to win in life. By surrendering our selfish desires and trusting in Jesus, we discover that true life is found in Him.
This same verse puts it another way in The Message: “If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to Me, you’ll find both yourself and Me.”
We can easily get caught up in the pursuit of winning, based on what the world tells us is most important in life, but Jesus tells us to give up on trying to do it our own way. Although choosing to lose something is never easy, once we start seeing that it leads to God’s best for us, we will realize it is totally worth it. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, forgive me for trying to find life apart from You. Please forgive me for my selfish decisions and allow me to lose myself, so that I can find You. Help me to truly live for Your sake and Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.