1 Cor. 9: 24-25 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
Phil 3:8. “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”
There were a pair of psychologists from the University of Michigan that conducted an interesting study about 20 years ago. They connected hundreds of volunteers to sensors that analyzed brain activity as the volunteers played a computer simulated betting game. The sensors measured the effects of winning and loosing on each volunteer as they played the game. Results found an interesting pattern. In the vast majority of the volunteers, loosing made a larger and deeper impact than winning. The pain of a $20 parking ticket was greater than the joy of finding a $20 bill. Their conclusion of the study was that the aversion to loss had a greater impact on individuals than the thrill of the win. It seems like most of us have a greater fear of loss.
The interesting thing about this study that challenged me was that loss aversion only had power over someone if they really had something to lose. When the perceived value decreased, so did the aversion to loss.
Maybe that is why the Apostle Paul said to the Colossians to “set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” The less we value the things of this world, the more we can risk for that which is eternal. It is a pretty simple concept. Don’t love this world so much that you hinder winning that which will last forever. Jim Elliot, the missionary to Ecuador had it right when he said; “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose!”
Loss aversion is real. Let’s make sure we value the right things. In Christ we have everything to gain. The reminder Paul wrote to the wealthy church in Philippi was this; “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8
Christ Jesus for the win!