Don’t Let a Loss Be Your Boss

Psalm 37: 23 – 24

“Into every life some rain must fall” is an ageless expression embodying a grievous truth. It means sooner or later every person will have difficulties, and/or defeats. Every person! Augustine reminded us: “God had one Son without sin, but not one without suffering.”

God in His creative wisdom gave all of us emotions. Emotional stability is a blessing. No emotion can be sustained indefinitely. We all have highs and lows. You can’t stay happy all the time. You can’t remain melancholy, sad, angry, elated, thrilled, or cheerful ALL the time.

Enjoy your emotional highs and work to create more. Inhale deeply the rarified air of every emotional high.

Likewise be prepared for your emotional lows. Sometimes there are experiences that hit us hard and virtually decimate us. Any traumatic loss has the potential of penning us to the mat in defeat. Bad things happen — even to good people.

A death, divorce, job loss, a dream that dies, a failed hope, a frustrated ambition, a defeat of major proportions all have a tendency to stun and shock us.

Researchers have done us a service in evaluating the stages through which we go when we suffer a major loss, failure, or defeat. In progression they are:


Most of us have not only seen persons work through these stages, we have had to do so ourselves. Note their progression.

SHOCK.  When a loss is experienced it often leaves a person in a state of shock.

DENIAL. Shock often turns to denial. For a period persons might seem to be unimaginably emotionally high. A sense of the unreal prevails. At this point the person is emotionally refusing to face reality.

ANGER.  Often anger emerges. In the case of the death of a loved one there might even be anger toward the deceased.

Often anger is felt toward God, though persons are most frequently unwilling to acknowledge this. Being inadequate to take out our anger on God, it is often expressed indirectly toward a minister or institution of God.

MOURNING. Deep sadness causes grief and mourning.

DEPRESSION. When there is a significant loss, depression is a step in the logical progression. It may last only a short time, but it happens. Often it becomes deep and prolonged. It even fades and reoccurs. What then? This, too, shall pass.

Take these steps. Pray, circulate with friends, enjoy the success of others, reach out to help someone, rededicate yourself to the Lord and His will. Do it!

One thing we need to do in advance of a major loss or failure is to learn to lose  and accept failure. That doesn’t imply in the least that we should ever strive for anything less than our best. We should have a driving ambition to always be and do our best. Self-motivation should drive us never to accept anything less than our best from our every effort. Even then we are going to fail and/or lose on occasion. People need to know it is OK to lose and/or fail. Who among us hasn’t? Learn from losses.