The word ‘fight’ normally brings a bad picture in our minds. It would not give a good impression of the person who ‘fights’. The scene that quickly pops up in our mind immediately after hearing this term is of – exchange of heated arguments, obscene language, physical assault and some other things of such kinds.
But wait, is ‘fighting’ always bad?
A wrestler fights with his opponent, so does a thief when he is caught. A boxer fights to win and so does a street-fighter. A soldier fights and fires bullets from his gun which can cause killing, so does a smuggler or a gangster. So what is the difference?
It is the perspective and cause for which the fight is being fought, makes it good or bad.
The objective of a gangster is to somehow protect himself from being caught and prosecuted for his wrong doings and therefore he fires and kills. No noble purpose and perspective whatsoever; whereas, a soldier fights for the glory of his nation and to protect his people (countrymen). He also might need to fire bullets and kill but the purpose and perspective with which he fights makes him different. We do respect a soldier but condemn a gangster, generally. Right?
Similarly, a boxer fights with a sportsman spirit. His objective is not to hurt his opponent physically or emotionally. Neither he is allowed nor a good boxer would use any wrong means to win. For example, he would not box under the belt or do something else of similar nature, which would be unexpected and unknown to the opponent. He fights in good will with no harmful intentions, in a friendly manner. We can safely call it a good fight. But a street-fighter fights with an evil intention of hurting the other person, to knock him down to fulfill his evil intentions. He would do anything for this purpose. Thus we understand that it is not only perspective and purpose but also his ways by which his ‘fight’ is categorized bad fight and not a good one.
A wrestler fights in a controlled manner not to hurt the opponent, but to win and bring glory to his team (and nation – in an international event), not so the case of the thief. He wrestles in order to get loose and run; he wants to steal and not caught. If he is caught, he would do anything for running away, even if it hurts the opponent. While wrestler fights with agreed and understandable techniques, a thief would use a knife or any other weapon also to win. Whereas a wrestler considers the opponent as a friend and fights, a thief would consider the person who grabbed him as his enemy. So it is only the perspective, purpose and ways but also the attitude with which the fight is fought, which makes it good or bad.
We as believers and followers of Jesus Christ are called to ‘fight the good fight of faith’.
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
[1 Timothy 6:12]
We have two opponents, one is obvious but the second one unobvious. Mind it, our these opponents are not our friends. First is Satan (who is also called devil). This opponents intentions are evil and his attitude and ways of fighting with us are of an enemy. He comes as a thief with a purpose to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) us. He comes with his fiery darts (like bullets) as Paul warns in Ephesians 6:16.
Satan has all the characters, attitude and ways of an enemy and we need to fight against him as a wrestler and a soldier who fights for the glory of their God. He would fight a bad fight but we are still supposed to continue good fight, whatsoever.
Our second enemy is our own flesh (our physical desires). This enemy is not so clear and obvious to us yet it strives to steal our godly character, kill our self-esteem (it condemns us by putting us in unholy things) and destroy our testimony. We need to fight as a boxer against our flesh (beating it and bringing it in control) as Paul does and exhorts us in 1 Corinthians 9:27 .
…I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
We have to be good ‘fighters’, who have calculated the cost of following Christ, deny our worldly desires daily, take up our cross and bear everything (whatever it takes) gladly to glorify Jesus, in order to reach to that crown which is set for each one of us in heaven. We have to finish and win this good fight so that we may say before we leave this temporary home to go in our fathers lap:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
[2 Timothy 4:7]
At last, I want to encourage you to do so because we are still sailing in a different boat then the wrestler, soldier and the boxer (who are not the bad fighters generally). They fight to win but we are not fighting for a WIN but we are already on the winning side. Jesus has already won the battle for us. Moreover, he has given his Holy Spirit to empower us in this living, we just need to involve ourselves and keep fighting in the victory.
When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
Our Lord who is coming soon, may bless you and keep you on the winning side till this battle ends and we reach heaven, victorious in Jesus name. Amen