WHY WE FIGHT: How To Have A GOOD Fight

Fighting is not fun. It makes us feel uncomfortable at the very utterance of the word FIGHT!

Our minds race back and forth picturing, and at times even reliving, every Fight we have ever had.

But FIGHTING is inevitable. You may not have ‘knock down, drag out’ fights, but we all fight something or someone on a daily basis.  It is, like I said, INEVITABLE!

Why?  Because, from the beginning mankind has strove to go his own way and walk away from God. The first fight occurred between the Creator and His Created Beings.  God told Adam and Eve that they could have EVERYTHING they wanted in the Paradise He created for them, except just one thing!  They wanted the one thing they could not have.

Their fight was against themselves.

Were they going to trust that God was giving them everything good, and saving them from the bad? Or, were they going to give into the temptation that they could be as wise as God and figure it out for themselves? 

That’s right, PRIDE entered the world and PRIDE won!

You and I as God’s created beings, deal with the same issue of PRIDE as Adam and Eve did. We must make choices each and every day to give into our PRIDE or chose God’s way.

Pride says, “that’s not fair, I was here first,” and we throw a nasty look someone’s way and stand our ground in line!  Or, we rev our car engine and pull swiftly in front of the car that cut us off!

Pride says, “I’m smarter than you are, therefore, I deserve to be revered!”

Pride says, “I am better than you are, and you do not deserve my time or effort!”

Pride says, “I deserve to have my needs met and if you are not doing that as my friend or relative or spouse, then I will no longer be in a relationship with you!”

Everyone of these categories of PRIDE produces FIGHTS that turn out BAD!

Bad for our hearts, emotions and feelings, as well as the hearts, emotions and feelings of those we fight with or against. Bad for our world to see and witness as we desire to have a loving witness for Christ. BAD, and even potentially devastating for those we are in relationship with!

Any FIGHT that we engage in that stems from PRIDE is only going to turn out BAD!

So, you may be thinking, Lisa, Where is the Good News?

I’m glad you asked!

Because Fighting is inevitable, we can learn how to have a “GOOD FIGHT!”

In the garden, Adam and Eve chose their PRIDE and it ended up in a BAD FIGHT!  One that separated them from God! 

We want our fights to be good fights so that they bring healing and restoration to our relationships! Had Adam and Eve chosen to have a “GOOD FIGHT”, the outcome could have been very different for them and for us!

This past Saturday night we had a ‘Couples FIGHT NIGHT,’ at our Church!  

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We listened to Dr.’s Les and Leslie Parrott, experts in the field of relationships and married to each other for over 30 years, share on FIGHTING GOOD.

My husbands greatest take away was a Soccer illustration…

“Instead of seeing the other person as OPPONENTS to score against, let’s view ourselves as on the same TEAM!  Let’s pass the ball to each other and work on scoring goals together!”

TRUTH BOMB

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WE FIGHT GOOD WHEN WE REALIZE WE ARE ON THE SAME TEAM!

We FIGHT because we see things differently. WE FIGHT because we are DIFFERENT and our perception of things is therefore DIFFERENT! 

This causes us to approach our problems differently and much of the time, when we let PRIDE creep in, we see the other person as nothing but an opponent trying to score against us!

The CORE of a GOOD FIGHT is:

C – Cooperation

O – Ownership

R – Respect

E – Empathy

When we set our PRIDE aside and realize that we are on the same team and our goal is to “score” a good relationship we:

COOPERATE with each other, listening to the others perspective and giving it worth and value.  

OWN our part in the fight; what did we do to offend or hurt, ignore or criticize.

RESPECT the others perspective and point of view.

EMPATHIZE with the others feelings, perspectives and emotions.

If the first man and woman ever created got it wrong, chances are we will too.  But with God’s help we can work harder to get it right and instead of Fighting Bad, we can Fight Good!

God fights for us, so is it not right that we fight for each other?  Fight to have a good and right relationship with all those He puts in our lives!

THE LORD WILL FIGHT FOR YOU, AND YOU HAVE ONLY TO BE SILENT.”  Exodus 14:14

After all, we only get one life on this earth, there are no “do overs!” We should strive to FIGHT GOOD with each other as we live to FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT, and say allow with the Apostle Paul,

I have fought the GOOD FIGHT, I have finished the race, I have kept the Faith.” 

 II Timothy 4:7

Speak Truth Love

LOVE IS FROM GOD

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Love is in the air, everywhere we look!

Well, at least the world’s version of LOVE.

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and we cannot walk into a grocery store and buy lettuce or kale chips without being assaulted by flowers, candy, balloons, cards, cookies, cupcakes, crackers and even cheese, in the shape of hearts! The image we have all grown accustomed to associating with LOVE! And, yes, I actually saw cheese in the shape of a heart, to accompany the heart shaped crackers stacked next to them!

Now, in case I may be sounding a bit “hypocritical” here, I am probably one of the biggest purchasers of such things! 

I love Valentine’s Day!  The down side is that I love eating all of the Valentine chocolate and baked goods. Actually, I also quite enjoyed the heart shaped crackers and cheese too!  The positive aspect is that I LOVE the happy feeling I get seeing love and sharing it with others!

Your travels through the grocery store to buy your few simple staple items, may produce warm, happy, positive feelings this time of year, as you view the full array of “HEARTS ON DISPLAY,” or it may stir up sad, negative or even angry feelings as you feel the “slap of love”, smack in your face!

LOVE on display is great when we are in loving relationships, but when we are not, love on display can evoke deep sadness and grief.

That is, “LOVE” that is associated with all of the worldly definitions of LOVE we have just outlined. When our definition of anything is not defined by the Creator of it, it is false!

GOD IS THE CREATOR OF LOVE! 

Real, true authentic LOVE is not found in anyone or anything else!

LOVE  COMES FROM GOD.”  I JOHN 4:16

GOD IS THE CREATOR OF LOVE, THEREFORE ONLY HE CAN DEFINE IT!

JOHN LAYS IT OUT FOR US CLEARLY AND CONCISELY IN HIS FIRST LETTER…

IF WE LOVE OTHERS THEN WE ARE A CHILD OF GOD AND WE KNOW GOD. 

I JOHN 4:7

The way we act toward others, when we feel loving and when we do not feel loving, tells the world if we are truly know God and are His child.

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God‘s love is shown when we love each other!

John goes on to say something even harder to swallow…

BUT ANYONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE DOES NOT KNOW GOD…”  I JOHN 4:8a

SMACK!  I do not know about you, but that verse smacks me flat in the face, much harsher than any “hearts” of Valentine’s Day paraphernalia ever could!

If I do not LOVE others, then I do not truly know God!

WHY?  BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE!

It is not simply part of His character, or a single attribute that He has, IT IS WHO HE IS!

GOD IS LOVE!

HE IS THE CREATOR AND HE IS LOVE! THEREFORE, GOD IS THE CREATOR OF LOVE!

I John 4:8 finishes with this statement…

FOR GOD IS LOVE.

This is the game changer friends! WE are LOVED because the Creator of LOVE, LOVES US!

And we are free to give and receive LOVE, because the LOVE of God is in us!

So, let’s take this TRUTH and look at a day the world has set aside for “Love,” and use it to demonstrate God’s LOVE to the world!

WE LOVE EACH OTHER BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.”   I JOHN 4:19

You are LOVED my friend, by the Creator of LOVE, God Himself! He loves you and gave His very life to prove it to you!

THIS IS REAL LOVE – NOT THAT WE LOVED GOD, BUT THAT HE LOVED US AND SENT HIS SON AS A SACRIFICE TO TAKE AWAY OUR SINS.”  I JOHN 4:10

The Creator God loved you so much that He sent His Son to die to tell you just how much!

BUT GOD SHOWED HIS GREAT LOVE FOR US SENDING CHRIST TO DIE FOR US WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS.”  ROMANS 5:8

YOU ARE LOVED!

So, what are you going to do this Valentine’s Day to show God’s Love?

 Any attempt we make on Valentine’s Day, or any other day, to define LOVE or find LOVE by any other definition, will fall short and disappoint!

Speak Truth Love

How do we go through seasons?

Last week on the blog we talked about seasons of faith in our lives. Specifically, WINTER! Seasons are defined as;

“A period of the year marked by certain conditions.”

As we talk about spiritual seasons of faith in our lives, this definition fits perfectly!

We go through different periods, a.k.a. seasons, in our lives that are marked by certain conditions. Some of those conditions are brought on by ourselves and some conditions are brought on by circumstances out of our control. But nevertheless, they are seasons in our lives that we go through.

My focus today is the question,

HOW do we go through them?

When we are in those “winter“ seasons as we talked about last week, and we feel no release and we see no end in sight, do we plunge into a dark place that feels even colder than the season itself? Or do we get angry, and become negative and bitter?

Our world and culture around us would tell us to look inward. It would shout everything from “self care,” to demanding our rights. While taking care of ourselves is important and should not be neglected, and our self worth and value mean everything to God, after all He died for it, true peace inside of the winter season only comes from giving thanks to the Lord!

This seems like an oxymoron, and to the world around us, IT IS! However, God’s Word screams this Truth from the highest of mountains to the lowest of the pits we find ourselves in! And regardless of the season we are in, His Truth never fails!

Psalm 118:1

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good! His faithful love endures forever!

This incredible Psalm begins with this proclamation and repeats it again and again five times over!

Throughout each declaration of who God is…

Our strength,

Our song,

Our destroyer,

Our goodness,

Our strong right arm…

The proclamation “His faithful love endures forever,” stands as a declaration of Truth to whatever season we are going through!

What is the answer to how we go through any and every season?

PRAISE THE LORD!

Why?

HIS FAITHFUL LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!

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WE FIND STRENGTH IN EVERY SEASON WHEN WE PRAISE THE LORD!

Speak Truth Love