“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)
Why is it that we (sometimes) enjoy a good fight? A brawl at a hockey game, a bench clearing hullabaloo at a major league ballpark, or a fifteen yard penalty for a teeth rattling late hit between the gridirons? A friend of mine once told me, “I had a great time last night, I went to a fight, and a hockey game broke out!” It doesn’t even need to be physical in nature, but a desire to really “tell them off,” or “let ‘em have it” wells up inside us as well. Is this just another result of our sin nature and natural propensity to “destroy” rather than “build up”? Is there such a thing as a “good fight” or is that an oxymoron?
Paul calls it the “good fight of the faith.” But it is not so much the act of fighting that is “good,” rather the nature of the fight and what it reveals about our character and our spiritual moorings. By nature we are selfish and passive, and only fight for what may be of value to us. But, the good fight of the faith is extremely important because it is an outgrowth of our personal beliefs and convictions. It is a fight for our core values: in other words, when we realize who we are as human beings in relation to God and what His Word describes as vital in our lives, we will not passively “endure,” but fight. That “fighting” will mean “I live a life for a worthy cause which is greater than my own gratification.
Paul admonishes Timothy to fight the good fight and stand up for the convictions that Paul had taught and modeled for him. This leads to the second part—by fighting, he would be able to “take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.” We often don’t live the ‘eternal life,’ but rather the temporary life and immediate needs gratification. God has “called” us for much more than this, but it may demand a “good fight” against the eternal pressures of our society.
Where in your accommodation of the American Lifestyle that is so prevalent and often anti-Christian do you need to “take the gloves off?” We begin by changing the culture around us, changing ourselves, and asking God to make us courageous for Him. Too tired? He who lives inside us isn’t! (1 John 4:4)