The Good Fight

To do for yourself the best that you have it in you to do – to grit your teeth and clench your fists in order to survive the world at its harshest and worst – is, by that very act, to be unable to let something be done for you and in you that is more wonderful still. The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your life against being destroyed secures your life against being opened up and transformed by the holy power that life itself comes from.

Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner, January 15th

What if the good fight Paul tells Timothy to fight in 1 Timothy 6:12 is the fight to keep his heart open? When Paul tells him to take hold of eternal life (v 13), isn’t he urging Timothy to trust Jesus in a deeper way? We can’t take hold of eternal life on our own.

What if the good fight, the race, and keeping the faith Paul writes about in 2 Timothy 4:7 is the fight to learn a way of being that doesn’t close us off to transformation, surrender, joy, relationships, and love? Keeping the faith has as much to do with learning to love God, ourselves, and others, as it does with learning to be loved by God, ourselves, and others.

The Fight For Love

Over and over in Paul’s journey we see him surrendering his thoughts, his ideas, his religion, and his fight against the people of The Way. As Paul opens his heart, as he surrenders, he is transformed. God uses Paul’s zeal, his education, his unique and wonderfully made personality to be an apostle to the Gentiles. Paul still fights – but it’s no longer a fight against. It is a fight for. A fight for joy. A fight for tender hearts. A fight for love.

And the only way we will ever remain open and surrender our tendencies to “steel ourselves against the harshness of reality,” is to know the One who invites us to come and learn the unforced rhythms of grace. To keep company with him and learn to live freely and lightly.

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  1. Bobby on February 7, 2023 at 10:02 am

    Hi Marie,

    I run each morning at 6 am and this week I started an audiobook by Marianne Williamson “The Course of Miracles”. She’s funny and Jewish but speaks a lot about Christ. This morning she talked about meeting someone as the opportunity to share love and connection, our purpose with God.

    My Pastor is from Austria and speaks with the Arnold Swartzenager accent. I started attending over 25 years ago when we had 40 members in a small chapel. What I loved about his message of salvation was this: If God has punched our ticket to heaven by being saved in Christ, why are we still here? Wouldn’t it make sense to be with him and leave the pain of this world?

    Marie, I have thought about that quite a bit. You see after being saved back in 1991, Life really sucked until this message from our pastor made me realize that we are left here to do God’s purpose through our lives. Another one of my mentors helped me understand that we find happiness through fulfillment and are fulfilled when we do 2 things. First We Grow mentally, spiritually, in heart, and in health, and second We Give. We give money, our time, and mostly our love.

    Thanks again for what you do. Have you heard Simon Sinek’s definition of a Just Cause? Bless you.

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