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Sometimes Love Loses

A few years ago I read a book called Love Works by Joel Manby. It’s a pretty good book, but I think my favorite part is the title. Love Works. I like that.

I’ve never been one to take words just on a surface level. Some say I overthink things. I’ve come to realize this is not a fault of mine but rather just how my brain ticks.

There have been some different tag lines crop up lately about love. As expected, I dig into those and ask what does that really mean.

One of these is “Love wins.”

I’ve been rolling this short little sentence around in my head for a while now because it just doesn’t sit well with me.

If you know me very well, you know that I don’t like navigating life as a competition. Life is simply more beautiful and complex than winning or losing. But “Love wins” brings love into this battle ground dichotomy. Like life, love is so much more than this.

That being said, if we want to consider love within a winning and losing framework, sometimes love loses. I would say often times love loses.

Is it not love that stirs us to lay down our desires for the sake of the other? Jesus in an ultimate display of love was crucified. I cannot see this as a win, but a brutal violent loss; to see it otherwise robs it of its significance.

If we are making our sacrifices in hopes of a future victory, we are ultimately still living out of our ego.

I know 1 Corinthians 13:8 says that “Love never fails.” This is the New International Version translation. The New Revised Standard Version and the New English Translation (both versions that tend to be more accurate to the original Greek) translate this as “Love never ends.”

Love works. Love is working. But the way it works is far above the simple ways of competition. That’s only one reason it’s so hard.


Love does not fight hate

for love does not fight.

Just as light does not fight darkness.

Light overcomes darkness just by being light.


Love is patient.

Love is kind.

It is not envious.

Love does not brag.

It is not puffed up.

It is not rude.

It is not self-serving

It is not easily angered or resentful.

It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NET)