Everyone is fighting for something. We want our lives to mean something. We want to be treated the way we want to be treated. We want to been seen the way we want to be seen.
We can get so obsessed with perception that things get out of control.
Of course it seems it would be nice to have a life where everything goes the way you want. Everyone acts how you would have them act, everyone responds when and how you choose, and best of all you are always right. We know that life doesn’t work this way–but don’t we get caught up trying to mold it so that it does?
It’s seen in the way that you cannot let him win this argument–or else!
Think about it… or else what?
Or else what? What’s so big of a deal that you can’t wave your white flag and surrender. Surely you aren’t solely fighting for bragging rights. Right?
No, when we fight we want to win. Winning seems like it will set the tone for the future. He/she will never disrespect you again. He/she will give you what you want for the rest of your life. He/she will never question your judgment. We tend to want to win because we want to teach a lesson. A lesson that will influence the encounters that follow and eventually (hopefully) the life we lead.
What happens instead?
The tension never ends. Feelings get hurt–and sometimes stay hurt. Trust is shaken. Cracks widen in the foundation of those friendships or relationships. No one gets a word in. Not one point is truly heard. No one is understood. The debate ends when you’re tired, not when it’s solved.
What if instead of fighting our way for what we want we begin to fight God’s way for what He wants?
Fight to see what God sees.
Fight to believe what God believes.
Fight to have the character God has.
Galatians 5 teaches us what God expects of us.
The pursuit of godliness must become more of a priority than whether you win your next argument.
1. We have free-will because God is gracious. We should not abuse the freedom to say and do what we want by saying and doing whatever we want–particularly hurtful things. ie. arguing or tearing others down in any way.
2. You can only serve through humility and from gratefulness to God. The flesh says I won’t serve until she proves she deserves it, or I won’t serve until he stops _______. The flesh presents serving as a choice rather than a command. Someone who fears and loves the Lord says, I will give grace whether or not it’s undeserved because God has given me what I don’t deserve. I am no better than the people He’s called me to serve. Surely, I’m no better than Jesus who came not to be served, but to serve. (Matt 20:28) To love God is to obey His commands. (John 14:15,23)
3. Words and careless attitudes have power. In all honesty, when I’m doing my own thing instead of what God’s instructed, my intention isn’t to destroy people. When I’m in a disagreement, my intention is to win not kill self-esteem or even ruin the relationship. But the Bible says destruction is precisely what’s happening when I operate in the flesh. The verse in Galatians says, “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”
John 1:15 says, “Then desire having conceived, gives birth to sin; and sin having become fully grown, brings forth death.”
Matt 6:19-21 says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
My friends, I believe that the metaphorical trophies we give ourselves or the pats on the back we give ourselves for winning fights God didn’t tell us to start-count as treasures on earth.
I don’t want God to say to me, “You did it! You have a storehouse brimming with treasures. Go take a look at what you purchased with selfishness and pride. Look at the people you hurt with your impulsiveness. Look at all the people you were unable to help because you were too busy zooming in on your own life and what you thought you deserved. See all the times you went left when I said to go right. You got everything you wanted. You used the abundant life Jesus paid for with His own life to create your own kingdom on earth. Now that you’re in heaven it’ll all pass away and you’re stuck with me–the God you busied your life so you could ignore.”
Let’s choose to do what God says: serve Him and serve people by being influenced by his Spirit.
God says a godly life will reap changes that you’d like to see. Not your own words, thoughts, and decisions.
1 Peter 3:1-2, 4 says, Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
If you’re interested in reading more on practical ways to say yes to God, feel free to click the photo below.