Yesterday, actually the last two days at work, were set up as real gladiator combat sessions. I know that I did not go into either day looking for a battle but somehow the battles came. The causes were right and just, locally important, and potentially damaging to the ego and image. Everything came together in just the right combination to bring out the intensity within. Even with a day's gap the very thought of each issue causes me to physically react. My muscles are tense and eyes focused. The mind is poised, ready to initiate the best jab – physical or mental. I am ready. I will not lose.
I wonder if God was leading or if the battle was my idea. I doubt the people involved would automatically connect me to Christ or a God of love, mercy, and acceptance.
God's way is different. Paul talks directly to you and I on this subject. “Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.” (Romans 12.21) I read and listen, then wonder about the righteousness of the cause.
The battles over the last two days were for the right reasons. The issues at stake concern accuracy, justice, and fair play. The beneficiaries were large teams of people, and, as one might guess, myself. It also appears that I have won a few and tied in others. I look back and wonder, what of the price?
I believe that followers of God will enter into battles. I know they will but believe there will be a difference. The difference will be in the attitude of attack, sense of purpose and mission in the midst of battle, and attitude of command. Putting Paul's comments and battles together, my approach will include the following.
Every battle is an opportunity to model God's character of love, compassion, mercy, and compassion.
My purpose in every relationship is to share my conviction that they are a child of God and that I respect and care about them.
God always leads; otherwise, I am god.