Some battles in life are worth fighting. However, most aren’t. Yet so often, people waste hours, days or even years of their lives battling over things which just don’t matter. It is never wise to live like that.
So how can you tell if a battle is worth the fight? Here are a few questions to consider:
1) Is it a battle that’s FOR people or against them?
Paul the apostle said ‘Fight the GOOD fight’. This is about fighting FOR people – not against them. This is a positive battle. For example, fighting FOR a generation is good. Fighting FOR people to know and understand that God loves them – that’s good too. But fighting against people you don’t like or agree with is never good – and it’s certainly not a battle which God would ever want us to engage in. So this is an important question to think about.
2) Are the spoils of victory worth it?
So let’s think ahead. Suppose you engage in battle and win. Are the spoils of victory really worth it? This is such an important question which wise people will always want to consider. If the result is that you are proven right and someone else is proven wrong, it’s really not worth it. If your ego is stroked, it’s not worth it. If your selfishness is satisfied, it’s not worth it. If, however, you help someone get better, that’s worth it. If someone experiences God’s love and forgiveness, it’s totally worth it. If more people get blessed, that’s a battle worth fighting too. The spoils – they really matter. Does this battle build people up or pull others down? Now THAT’S a question!
3) Is this about your ego?
Come on, let’s be honest. Most of our battles are about our pride and ego rather than principle and purpose. For me, this is particularly challenging when I’m driving and some eejit decides to overtake me in a manner which is not to my liking (don’t judge me too harshly….you drivers know exactly what I’m talking about!!). My pride says ‘drive faster and beat them’. But wisdom says ‘sloooow down and let them win’. I must be honest, sometimes I don’t like wisdom. But I’ve learned that wisdom is ALWAYS right. Hey, the point is…don’t let your ego get in the way of your God given destiny. Think purpose. Think grace. Think long term. This perspective changes everything.
4) Have you really taken time to think it through?
Don’t believe the first thing your emotions tell you. They’re fickle – REALLY fickle. So before you write what you feel on social media, take lots of time to think about it. Before you just go ahead and speak what’s on your mind, submit your thoughts to God and ask him what he thinks. Before you send that strong email, consider seriously how it reflects the love and grace of God. Before you blurt out your anger, consider your own mistakes, failures and blunders. Think, think and then think again. It’s amazing how God can give us wisdom when we pause and reflect instead of just charging straight into battle.
Be sure to fight the battles which really matter. Leave the other’s to God. That takes REAL faith.