“… With a simultaneous flash of red light coupled with the sound of crunching teeth , the fall to the ground was welcomed . The abrupt collision with the dirt would give me the benefit of a second or two to figure out what just happened to me… And then came the taste… The unforgettable taste of blood – my own blood , and plenty of it seemingly… I had been sucker punched by a sucker , but I was on the way back up to return the favor … and then some…”
This is one of my most vivid memories. Although it is not a fond one , It’s one that has sculpted a certain part of me, my personality and for all practical purposes shaped my innate desire of confrontation.. To put it plainly I grew up fighting and I love a good fight , therefore – I am a fighter.
In some respects it has been a valuable gift … In my younger years , I was never bullied more than once by the same person due to my over eagerness to reciprocate the aggression shown to me ten fold , and so it gave me a confidence in myself that NO ONE could take from me.. NO ONE. In stressful or high pressure situations it provided me a cool mindedness and bulldog like tenacity because I KNEW ultimately I could handle whatever was hurled in my direction ,and I could beat it with a ear to ear smile on my face… and did – EVERY TIME. Even in my darkest days when addiction had its hold on me , once I decided to fight it – I fought it with ferocity and fervor that paralleled that of a Gladiator fighting for his life in the sand of the arena…after all , it basically was a fight for my life.
There always seemed to be a roaring lion living in me that just couldn’t be silenced… until I gave myself over to God . Even then however, the desire for confrontation continued. It seemed the roar of the lion had been tamed but not silenced. Over the next several years I took my new found faith and ever-growing knowledge of Gods word and set out on a journey to take that word to the lost and dying world that so desperately needed him like I did (and still do)…A few years later -enter Social Media.
With the new way of reaching masses of people via Facebook ,Tumbr , Twitter etc. My desire to take the words of life to people was magnified to a nearly unbearable intensity for those close to me , and the roaring lion of confrontation inside me had been revived and was back on the hunt with an insatiable hunger to prove the TRUTH and SEEK the LOST…no matter the cost.
But I am afraid the cost may have been greater than I hoped.
You see , because of my love for confrontation – I became a bully… By seeking out every debatable topic and controversy ,then beating people up with my faith. Proving that what they believed was wrong and what I believed was right… and in doing so pushing them further away from God than they ever were , and making myself EXACTLY what they think of ALL of us who have named the name above all names… and I was wrong …and I am sorry -truly.
As Christians , we talk a lot about “Fighting the Good fight”. By standing up for what we know to be the truth and doing our best to live according to his commands for us , but fighting that good fight is NOT about fighting at all..not with others anyway.In 1st Timothy 6 :11 it tells us “ But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.” In the first part of the verse it says to “flee these things” – what things?…they are listed earlier in the chapter as controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions… Words that Paul used to describe to Timothy the False Teacher..Had I become a False Teacher?…yes I had – in a sense. Not in doctrine -but in spirit. ..
You can have all the truth in the world and be right as rain in WHAT you teach , but be as wrong as the day is is long in HOW you teach it.. Verse 14 of that chapter Paul tell Timothy also “to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,”… and that my friends is NOT possible if you are beating people over the head with it.
SO – do I still believe the same things are wrong that I did before?- Absolutely..Do I still believe that the same things are right that I did before? Absolutely.. Are there still people who need to hear the Gospel of Christ ? Am I STILL seeking the lost?- YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!…so what’s changed?…. My heart has..
Fighting the Good Fight is about “Preaching the word; being ready in season and out of season; reproving, rebuking, and exhorting, with COMPLETE PATIENCE and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”(2 Timothy 4:2-4)… But NEVER … NEVER bullying ..This goes against everything that God is and it’s WRONG… My God is not a bully – so NEITHER SHOULD I BE..
There are many who make the claim and wear his name ,calling themselves Christians… We had better be acting like it.
The invitation to study the bible is still open… 😉
Read Romans 12:14-18