7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ….
1 Corinthians 9
23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake….
In games of strategy, such as chess, there are times when individual pieces must be sacrificed for the sake of strategic advantage. This is also true in life itself, at times.
At the moment of “sacrifice” it may be seen as a defeat or a loss in the particular battle being fought. However, it is often the case that such a defeat plays a strategic role in influencing the overall success in the outcome of the campaign of war being waged.
We must learn to use “losses” and “defeats” in our daily battles and struggles as ways and means to produce victory in the spiritual war in which we are engaged!
Thinking in terms of interpersonal relationships, it is hard for us to concede defeat in a battle of wills, but there are times when it is a sure sign of superior strength — both spiritually and emotionally — to give ground in the short term in order to gain ground strategically in the long term.
Here’s a hypothetical example: a coworker may have a way of doing or saying things that are extremely annoying and offensive. It would be perfectly within your rights to say something to them or even file a complaint with HR, but you patiently and graciously endure his or her obnoxious behavior in order to have a chance to witness to them and share with them the gospel.
In such a case, it could be said that you lost a battle in order to have a chance at winning the war.
This concept speaks to the concessions and compromises we make in areas of our personal rights and freedoms in order to gain a benefit or advantage in a greater context or a broader scope.
The expression “choose your battles” arises from this idea: some things just aren’t worth the price you have to pay to get them.
You might win an argument but lose a friendship, for example. Then you would have won a battle but lost the war.
And that is why we “choose our battles” — some battles are not worth winning.
A word to the wise is sufficient….
Pastor Tim D. Cormier