Lose the Battle, Win the War

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Bethwel Kiprono Kibet


Reflecting on the legendary battle at Thermopylae, where 300 Spartan soldiers faced insurmountable odds against the Persian army, one cannot help but admire their courage and sacrifice. Despite their eventual defeat, their actions paved the way for the ultimate victory of the Greek forces in the war against Persia.

The memory of the brave Spartans inspired the Greeks to persevere, even in the face of overwhelming opposition. This historical event teaches us a profound truth: sometimes losing a battle is a necessary step towards winning the war.

Dear readers, let us pause and contemplate the paradox of losing a battle. While it may seem counterintuitive, there is beauty in embracing defeat for the sake of a greater victory. As Apostle Grace Lubega eloquently preached, we must learn to lose battles to achieve the grander vision of winning the war.

Consider the everyday battles we face in life. A young man may win a trivial argument with an elder but lose the opportunity to honor and respect wisdom. Similarly, fleeting gains obtained through deceit or conflict often result in long-term losses of trust and integrity.

Imagine the joy of indulging in immediate pleasures, only to realize the cost of sacrificing long-term blessings. These stories serve as cautionary tales, reminding us of the importance of discerning between temporary victories and enduring triumphs.

For instance, let’s reflect on the scenario of a young man who carelessly argues with an elder over an issue in which he is technically correct. Yes, he may win the battle of the argument, but in doing so, he loses the deeper respect and wisdom that come from honoring one’s elders. The principle of respecting elders, often touted in various cultures, is not merely about winning or losing arguments but about nurturing relationships and gaining invaluable insights for the future.

Similarly, consider the allure of immediate gratification at the expense of long-term consequences. Stealing a few coins from your boss might provide temporary financial relief, but it jeopardizes the trust and integrity crucial for sustained professional growth and advancement. In essence, the fleeting gains of the present can pale in comparison to the enduring losses of the future.

Furthermore, think about the dynamics of personal relationships. Insulting an adversary might offer a momentary sense of satisfaction, but it plants seeds of bitterness and resentment that can haunt us indefinitely. The power of words, whether used to uplift or tear down, carries lasting consequences that shape the course of our interactions and connections.

Even in seemingly trivial situations, the principle holds. Imagine the joy of indulging in a sumptuous meal on Christmas day, having slaughtered a cow for the occasion. However, in doing so, one sacrifices the milk and sustenance that the cow would have provided for the entire following year.

If you fought for ice cream with a young child, you’d get the ice cream with its sweetness and lose the Child with their love and trust.
These examples illustrate the trade-offs we face between immediate gratification and long-term sustainability in various aspects of life.

In conclusion, let us strive to adopt a perspective that transcends the momentary struggles and setbacks we encounter. By surrendering our desire for immediate gratification and trusting in the greater plan, we can truly lose the battle to win the war.

To delve deeper into this topic, I was inspired by a sermon preached by Apostle Grace Lubega of Phaneroo Ministries International at the 2018 annual Men’s Conference themed “Eye Can See.” You can watch the sermon here.

Warm regards,

Bethwel Kiprono K.

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