A Carthartic Christmas

This entry will be a cathartic self-examination, but if that didn’t scare you away, feel free to listen in. 

We hear so often, “You learn to pick your battles.”  Well, I’ve found that I don’t like that statement.  This last week I have learned that every battle is worth fighting, but the tools we use and the degree of the battle varies.  Through a variety of circumstances I have realized some things about myself that have taken some searching and dependence upon a holy God.  First, I have an innate nature that spurs me to the defense of justice.  I have come to realize that this is both a blessing and a “curse.”  It is a God-given personality trait, but as with anything, we, as humans, screw up what God intends for good.  If there is some injustice in the world (that falls within my biblical worldview) I am passionate about standing for whats right and for anyone who is victimized.  If my rights are being violated or if loved ones are being mistreated, it isn’t a thought to come to defense of what I hold dear.  This in and of itself, is a good quality and am glad to be bold in my faith. 

“Where’s the ‘but?'”  But, I feel the need to take on each battle with similar arsenal.  What I found is that fighting a battle or defending my faith require different techniques than the average everyday conversation.  I get annoyed when people don’t give another opinion proper respect.  If I admit it, I get overly annoyed at this and have had the tendency to allow it to affect my attitude.  I just want to be sure that each perspective receives due opportunity and if I feel that someone is being accusatory or rude, I begin to fume.  Recently, after being involved in a debate about a trivial issue and feeling attacked, I later heard the Spirit say, “Have nothing to do with foolish arguments…”  The full verse from 2Timothy 2:23 reads,

23Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

Ouch.  That hit home.  I don’t need to debate everything.  The compulsion I feel to come to the defense of every ideal is unnecessary.  Life is a battle, but the defense weapons I use vary from situation to situation.  I have often written about my lifelong struggle of knowing when to speak and when to be silent.  I realize that there are times that I fight my hardest when I shut my trap.  Timing and tact are keys to opening the battle arsenal.  All of my adult life, thus far, is spent in knowing appropriate timing and word delivery.  The third key that I really need the Lord’s help on, is that of defense.  Specifically, if someone doesn’t respond or even initiate a conversation respectfully, I shouldn’t feel the need to always feel the need to defend what I believe to be the appropriate response or cause. 

Further, I don’t need to assume that someone is always wanting to debate, even if it seems that way.  That is hard for me to know.  Some people really might want a good debate, but I shouldn’t always feel the need to get involved.  As I may have mentioned I am an analyzer.   It is a natural personality trait of mine to try to figure people out.  Most of the time I feel that I can read people pretty well.  Not that I am judging them, but, trying to get an idea of who they are and what experiences have impacted them.  I enjoy observation and listening.  But there have been times where I haven’t been able to get a “good read” and then I tend to jump to conclusions.  Not. a. good. idea.  I, then, overanalyze. Again, taking a gift that the Lord has given and interjecting my own sinful nature, not purposely, but still nonetheless. Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time for everything.  If it means everything, then I would assert that there is a time to speak and a time to be silent.  A time for conversation and a time for silent reflection.  A time to stand and a time to fall to our knees.

So now that you know that I try to get into all of your heads, I have let you into mine.  A dangerous place, to be sure (wink) My life pursuit is to allow Jesus to conform me to His likeness. 

May God add His blessing to this testimony as only He can.


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