In our culture – Western culture – we fight way too much. If you consider the fact that we fight about our politics, at our jobs, within our families and within our communities, it seems that we are addicted to fighting.
In fact, we’re so obsessed with fighting that we spend time on social media consuming content that promotes fights. We still stop scrolling or swiping to observe conflict on social media. We are so prone to fighting that we enter personal relationships ready to fight, create and cope with conflict. We anticipate and expect conflict. We prepare for conflict. And in many instances, we are the perpetrators of conflict.
Living within a culture built on conflict, how can we have time to accomplish anything? When do we have moments of peace when we can actually get along with other people? When do we have moments of calmness that allow our hearts to feel and our minds and our bodies to rest?
The Bible on Fighting
If we do a quick survey of biblical text, we know that conflict was introduced by the Enemy (Genesis 3). The conflict he created was between the word of God and Adam and Eve. What is fascinating about the creation of this conflict is it did not begin with a punch or kick or a push or a weapon of any kind. In fact, the instrument of choice to begin this conflict was the tongue.
The Bible says in James 3:5, “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” Our mouth can cause so many problems and cause disruptions within our relationships. Our mouth can separate friendships and relationships.
Take note of what Scripture says:
Proverbs 16:28 – “A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.”
Proverbs 17:9 – “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.”
The Consequences of Fights
When you think about how words have created disagreements, separations, divorces, breakups and all-out war, we shouldn’t be surprised at the outcomes. But when you take a moment to process the fact that one of the smallest members of your body is responsible for causing so much damage, it should cause you to pause and evaluate the impact your tongue has on your life. How many friendships have you broken up, how many relationships have you lost, how many opportunities have you forfeited because of your words?
This is not how God meant for us to live. As Christians, our fight is to:
maintain our faith
maintain our prayer life
maintain our bible study life
maintain our character
maintain our integrity
maintain our holiness and righteousness
Jesus died on the cross and spilled His blood so you could have the freedom to trust God, rely on God and believe that He’s fighting your battles against the cosmic powers, the present darkness, and the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places (Ephesians 6:10-12).
With the help of the Holy Spirit, let’s tame our tongues and cause the devil to go back to God and say, “You’re right…he/she is saved.”
Dr. William Clark is the pastor of Living Faith Church in Hartford, CT, as well as a leadership development and organizational impact specialist to nonprofits and churches. You can follow him @drwilliampclark on social media platforms.