What do you think it means to “fight the good fight?” I used to think it meant a lot of proselytizing and speaking out for the faith. I needed to take a stand, face derision for my beliefs, hold the line, and be bold for Jesus. Wrong.
I Timothy 6:11-12a
But you, man [woman] of God, flee from all this [the love of money], and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.
To fight the good fight, it’s an interior struggle; it’s learning to choose, in the moment, the right way, the honest way, a choice that may not be “best” for me. It’s about experiencing God in such a way that I am awake to the Holy Spirit and respond to people and situations as the Christ would. It’s about believing in the truth of the Presence. It’s all real and true and does make a difference inside me. I am different because of that Presence. It’s love. And that’s the most difficult of all because it’s love in the face of all things, it’s love so strong that one’s heart is visible, it’s love so authentic that is can tolerate rejection and hatred and betrayal. That’s why endurance is part of the package. That’s the fight part. Keeping on. And then, the last: gentleness. What? Gentleness? How do we do this long-suffering battle with gentleness?
It would take everything in me to test to truth of these words. And that’s the point.
I need to be gentle with myself. It’s a journey. It’s a war to become . . . to really give it all away (those old ways, not just the stuff) and follow the Christ.