Staying TrueOur ability to stand in the midst of trials will depend on the focus of our gaze.
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The Real Boss
2 Timothy 2:23-26 The Lord Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm (Exodus 14:14).
While getting ready for bed one evening at our home in Uganda, my 9-year-old son Wasswa said, “Mommy, the man who fights is the boss. The man who doesn’t fight is the real boss!” Seven months later, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke some words in response to attacks on US diplomatic missions in the Middle East that echoed my son’s convictions.
“When Christians are subject to insults to their faith, and that certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence,” Clinton said. “The same goes for all faiths. . . . Refraining from violence, then, is not a sign of weakness in one’s faith; it is . . . a sign that one’s faith is unshakable.”
Whether from the mouths of babes or seasoned leaders, there’s wisdom in the exhortation to refrain from fighting. As Scripture strongly states: “Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling” (Proverbs 20:3); “An angry person starts fights; a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin. Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor” (29:22-23); “A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them” (15:18); “Greed causes fighting; trusting the Lord leads to prosperity. Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe” (28:25-26).
As followers of Jesus, let’s adhere to the apostle Paul’s advice, “Don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone . . . and be patient with difficult people” (2 Timothy 2:23-24).
In 2 Timothy 4:7, what does Paul mean when he says he has “fought the good fight”? How does this type of fighting differ from violence and retaliation?
What has caused quarrels or fights in your life recently? How can you apply Scripture to help heal your relationship(s)?
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