At 34-years-old, I’m learning how to fight.
Growing up, fighting was something I avoided. And some of the fights that I did get into, I lost … big time.
I was a pretty healthy kid apart from bad allergies. While writing this, I’m laughing to myself as I realize that. So, being healthy enough, I could’ve fought. I simply did not know how too and the many times I did end up in a fight for some reason or another, I would end up getting hurt.
The pain was not only physical but emotional and I vowed to never, ever fight again. It was an agreement from boyhood that I didn’t realize would have a substantial affect on my life.
I made that agreement out of fear of getting hurt, and out of fear of the worst that could come out of it. But, what I would find out, is that fear of fighting, and fear period, would mutate into a toxic mindset that was neither Godly or healthy, an idea that life should be easier and without struggle or conflict.
So, I avoided at all costs. And oh did it cost!
During my adult years, I have yet to raise a fist for a physical fight. Hopefully nothing in my life comes to that. But, I do see the Lord trying to teach me how to fight spiritually, a fight that is required of all of us, a fight that I’m no longer going to be allowed to avoid.
In order to learn to fight, I had to deal with the issue of fear, the fear that drove social anxiety, the fear that guided how I would treat myself and others, the fear that said that I would live a certain way in order to keep from what I considered stressful situations:
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.”
I did in fact repent of the time I let fear lead. Now, I’m learning to trust the Lord with anything and everything that brings about concerns and anxiety.
There’s simply no room for fear or timidity.
My wife also suggested that I invite the Lord into what is going on — work, bills, creative endeavors, even our marriage. That has actually made a HUGE difference in our lives.
Paul in his letter to Timothy encouraged him to fight the good fight of faith.
1 Timothy 6:12 (NKJV)
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
In the pretext just before you get to 1 Timothy 6:12, we’re warned of “the love of money” being the root of all evil. We’re also told that those desiring to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and it leads them into “foolish and harmful lusts,” which drown men into destruction and perdition (to be ruined, loss).
As believers, a lot of our fighting is not only an involvement to stay connected to the Lord and His Word, but, to also fight against ourselves and our selfishness and desires that are not of God.
More and more, I realize now that to fight is to remain in God through prayer and through the reading of His Word. And, daily, I fight that it all remains not about me but about Christ and the life He’s called me too.
And thereby trusting God even in the daily battles — the battle to pick up the phone and take care of bill collectors and school loan debtors, the battle to keep and save marriage, the battle to say no to the next shiny new device and yes to godliness with contentment (1 Timothy 6:6), the battle against self-preservation and self-comfort but for self-control and to saying yes to dying to self daily.