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How to Win a Fight (Part 1)

December 4, 2009

Sometime ago I was teaching a group of children. I started the lesson by asking about their fights with brothers and sisters. I then asked how they knew who won the fight. One very insightful little girl responded, “The first one to tell our parents wins.” For each of us, conflict is often inevitable. There are times in our lives when we cannot help but find ourselves in the midst of tense disagreements with others. As children of God who are supposed to be imitators of Christ, our definition of winning in times of conflict is very different from that of the world. Victory is not determined by having the last word, swaying the opposition to our side or forcing the matter to go the way we desire. Victory is achieved as God is exalted and His kingdom benefited.

Romans 12:17-21 speaks volumes to this matter. Some of the most pertinent elements are found in verse 17, “Recompense to no man evil for evil.” Verse 18, “As much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Verse 19, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves. ” Lastly, verse 21, “Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” The only possibility of attaining victory in difficult conflicts is through the application of good, even if evil is done first. If we respond to someone’s evil in kind, we have already lost. We may feel better. We may have “stood on our rights” or “defended our principles”, but we have lost. As soon as we utilize wrong words or attitudes, evil has prevailed. To win a fight, we must first determine that the only acceptable responses are those which are holy. Without that, the battle is lost before it is even begun.

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