Freedom To Lose


I have really been inspired and moved by some recent comments from Tullian Tchividjian in a recent apology he issued on his blog. Here’s a few highlights:

“One of the things that the gospel frees you to do is to never have to bear the burden of defending yourself… When you feel the need to respond to criticism, it reveals how much you’ve built your identity on being right… Because Jesus won for you, you’re free to lose…and last week I fought to win. I’m sorry you had to see that. Lord have mercy…” -Tullian Tchividjian

The particular phrase “Because Jesus won for you, you’re free to lose.” was particularly impactful to me.

I started thinking about everything I have in Christ through the gospel and asked a simple question:

If I have something in the gospel, what does that which I have free me to lose?

Whatever you possess in Christ, you are free to lose everywhere else.

  • Because Jesus won for you and made you right in him, you’re free to lose arguments and the appearance of being right. You’re free to be undefended and misunderstood.
  • Because Jesus loves you as you are, you’re free to lose your reputation. You’re free to go out out in public without your religious cosmetics on.
  • Because God the Father accepts you in Christ, you’re free to lose the acceptance of others. You’re free to be rejected and betrayed.
  • Because you’re loved by God, you’re free to lose the love of others. You’re free to be unloved.
  • Because you’re known and seen by God, you’re free to lose the recognition of others. You’re free to be unnoticed and unseen.
  • Because you’re significant to God, you’re free to lose significance in the eyes of others. You’re free to be nothing, little, despised, disregarded, dismissed, and devalued.
  • Because you’re forgiven by God in Christ you’re free to lose the forgiveness of others. You’re free to be unforgiven.
  • Because you’re honored by God, you’re free to lose the respect and honor of others. You’re free to be disrespected and dishonored.
  • Because your identity is now in Christ, you’re free to lose your identity in everything else. You’re free to be unidentified.

If you’re not free to lose, then you must fight to win. Is this not the cause of so many of our problems? (James 4:1-2) People don’t give us what we want and so we get upset. The reason we get so upset is because we’re not free to lose what we want people to give us.

So we throw tantrums.

We claw and fight.

We manipulate.

We demand.

We protest.

Belief in the gospel gives you the freedom to lose what you want most from other people. The areas where you’re fighting are where you don’t believe the gospel.

You know you’re not free when you have to fight to win what you want. Because Jesus fought and won, you’re free to lose.

Stop fighting.

(Image adapted from: Jonas Seamancc)

About Josh Christophersen

Josh is a software engineer, church planter, and blogger with a passion for helping people do their life well. He lives in KC with his wife and 7 kids.

4 Replies

  1. James

    Josh! I read this and immediately could see the time and energy I waste protecting the things that I am free to lose. Self protection robs us of the potential for real authentic work in Christ. Thanks for calling it out.

  2. Great to hear from you, James! Thanks for the encouragement. The entire concept of this post is currently very liberating to me right now. I’m loving it!

  3. Andy Mitchel

    Hey Josh, I’ve been following your blog for a while now and getting much out of it. Freedom to lose is liberating and uncomfortable at the same time. Chris and I have begun talking about this and it’s meaningful. Andy’s neighbor Andy

  4. Hey Andy, great to hear from you! It’s a great topic with a lot of uncomfortability, ultimately for our good. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to write!

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