FLIGHT or FIGHT? Those are two big generalizations on how one responds to conflicts and crises…how one responds to the battles we are in 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 reputations, our own self-image from the judgments and misjudgments that come from other people. WE want to manage how others see us and think of us. We FIGHT against anyone else telling us who we are, how we are or what our weaknesses are. We FIGHT against any criticism of ourselves. We might not say it aloud, or FIGHT in obvious physical and verbal ways (although that certainly happens!), but, at the very least, the anger is seething inside of us and we are consumed with bitterness and even hate toward those who would attack our ego, our image, our self-worth, 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. So it is a waste of precious energy, effort, thought, action and time to FIGHT against misjudgments in order that all others will know us the way WE want to be known.
Instead we need to receive and focus our precious energy, effort, thought, action and time on the divine power God has given us through our knowledge of Him. Knowing God and using God’s divine power are weapons that are far more powerful and eternally victorious in the FIGHT for our spirits, minds, hearts and bodies than are our self-focused, self-justifying, 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? Romans 8:31
My salvation and my honor depend on God. Psalm 62:7
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, thoughtlessness, selfishness, cruelty and evil.
Instead we are to FIGHT with the weapons given to us by our God and infused with His divine power. We do NOT have to FIGHT as we have been attacked.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4
And our God’s greatest divine weapon for us is to work out His divine purpose within each of us who are His children is…
…to be conformed to the likeness of His Son…Romans 8:29
The more transformed into the likeness of Jesus we are, the more certain we are that we will FIGHT our lives’ battles to a victorious conclusion! Like Jesus, we will choose to FIGHT with the same divine power and weapons that Jesus used to conquer—for all eternity—the FIGHT against sin and death: love, prayer, forgiveness, sacrifice, obedience to God, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
- LOVE your enemies and PRAY for for those who persecute you–Matthew 5:44
- FORGIVE whatever grievance you may have against one another. FORGIVE as the Lord forgave you–Colossians 3:13
- Therefore I urge you, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies [your thoughts, words, actions--all you are, all you do] as living SACRIFICES, holy and pleasing to God–Romans 12:1
- And this is LOVE: that we walk in OBEDIENCE to God’s commands. As you heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in LOVE–2 John 6
- Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with COMPASSION, KINDNESS, HUMILITY, GENTLENESS and PATIENCE–Colossians 3:12
We are called to FIGHT. But! We must be certain we are FIGHTING the right battle that will conform us to be more like Jesus so that we will be vessels of God’s healing and transformation in the lives of others—all others—our closest friends and our cruelest of enemies. This is divine power of our Lord Jesus.
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called…1 Timothy 6:12
Whatever our battle, may we each allow God to lead us into victory as we FIGHT with all that God has provided to us through our Lord and Savior—the Eternal Conqueror—Jesus Christ!
In love, peace and purposeful passion, Sylane