Flight or Fight? Those are two big generalizations on how we as individuals (or as a group) may respond to conflicts and crises. How we may respond to the battles we are in – battles for our spirits, minds, hearts and bodies on this side of Heaven.
We often choose to fight in the midst of these battles because we are trying to defend ourselves, our reputation and our self-image from the judgments and misjudgments that come from other people. We want to manage how others view us. We fight against being told who we are, how we are or what our weaknesses are. We fight against every criticism. We might not say it aloud or fight in obvious physical and verbal ways (although that certainly happens!), but, at the very least, the fight is seething inside of us and we are consumed with bitterness and hate toward those who would attack our ego, our image, our actions, our motivations. How dare they judge me! How dare they tell me what I should do! Who do they think they are?!
We need to understand that our self-worth can never be changed by what another person thinks of us or even by how we are treated. It is a waste of our energy, effort, thought, action and time to fight against misjudgments in order for others to know us as we want to be known.
Instead, we need to receive and focus our energy, effort, thought, action and time on the divine power that God has given us through our knowledge of Him. Knowing God and being equipped and filled with God’s divine power provide us with weapons that are far superior and eternally victorious in the fight for our spirits, minds, hearts and bodies than any of our self-focused, self-justifying and self-defending ways.
God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness
through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
2 Peter 1:3
We need to recognize that with God as the protector and defender of our life and our honor, we do not have to fight against the attacks of another. These have no eternal significance.
What then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Far too often we choose to fight against the people who have wounded us in the same way that we have suffered. We fight back through our words and actions with the same kind of weapons that came against us – hurt, mistreatment, rejection, lies, abuse, betrayal, manipulation, selfishness, thoughtlessness, coldness, cruelty and evil. These only diminish us and keep us bound as captives to hate and anger, depression and deceit.
We have been set free to live and fight in the power of Christ. Not in the power of hurt and sin.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Let our fight be truly a freedom fight so that we will stand more strongly, live more fully and love more freely as the redeemed and renewed people of God!