I’ve never been much of a fighter…unless you count being passive-aggressive at times. 😉 The thought of standing up for myself has never been appealing. Besides the fact that it’s downright scary…it’s also just not in my nature. Yes, that means I am sometimes taken advantage of. But SOMETIMES, when I simply take a stand and refuse to move, it softens both the other person’s heart and my own more than fighting back ever could.
A side note: this is a “faith” post. In other words, I’m a Christian, and sometimes I write about what God teaches me. But in all truth, ALL of my posts come from this perspective, whether or not I come right out and say it. Right now, some of my followers are like, “What the f***?! This Practigal lady is a Christian?” And I’m okay with that. 😉
So, I recently found myself in a heated argument, which is super rare for me. (Just ask my husband). For some reason, I made the decision to go against my norm and fight for myself. I thought I was doing the right thing, but it turns out, I am the way I am for a reason. I don’t know how to calmly argue my position. When I am passionate about something, I go from 0 to 10 in an instant. What I hoped to be a calm, understanding discussion turned into me hurling insults and refusing to see their side of the story. I wasn’t respectful. I wasn’t loving.
Our Society of “Me”
Our society today tells you to defend yourself. To do what’s right for you no matter how it affects other people. To chase your dreams. To fight for your rights. To do whatever makes you happy. Right now, my Pinterest feed is full of pins with titles like these:
“10 Truths You Need to Know for Inner-Peace and Happiness”
“How to Accept Yourself No Matter What”
“20 Ways to Find Your Super Power”
“Self-Care for Busy Women”
“How to Make Your Dreams Come True”
“20 Ways to Be Happy When You Feel Sad”
“8 Self-Love Mindset Shifts for More Courageous Living”
“How to Boost Self-Confidence with Meditation”
The list goes on and on and on. Another side note: I really like some of these articles. And although there is probably some truth in every one of these articles, there’s often something missing. Like with most things, balance is key. Happiness isn’t everything, so it shouldn’t be our end goal. You are not perfect, so simply accepting yourself isn’t going to give you the life you desire. You are not in complete control of every area of life, so forcing your dreams to come true isn’t going to work. Focusing on yourself all of the time isn’t going to make you happy when you were created for community.
Our society tells you to stand up for yourself every time, no matter what. But what about when you need to stand up for someone else? What about when standing up for yourself means ignoring another person’s feelings? And what about when you are wrong? (ouch!)
How to Take a Stand: The Armor of God
I believe that there is a better way…or at least a better way to begin. I was struck recently by a passage in the Bible I have read a hundred times. You may have heard the passage referenced as the one on the armor of God. For emphasis, I’m going to share with you what the Bible says about putting on the armor of God with the parts that stood out to me this time in bold. Here we go:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God. -Ephesians 6:10-17
You would think that a passage about putting on the armor of God would be about fighting. But, as it turns out, I am often wrong. This passage is about standing. It’s about taking a stand, standing your ground, and standing firm. The fact is, when you have the right facts, the facts speak for themselves. They do the talking, the fighting. You put them on and you stand there. You wear the truth and you take a stand. You do what’s right and simply stand firm. You get ready with the good news that God has given you and stand your ground. You put up your shield to deflect all the arrows and keep your feet planted firmly in faith.
How to Take a Stand: Let God Do the Fighting
Here’s what you need to remember: You don’t need to defend yourself if you are worth defending. God will defend you. God will fight for you.
And there’s even more good news! God has already fought the ultimate battle and won! He has overcome the world. He overcame sin and death when Jesus died on the cross and rose again. This explains why He’s not asking to fight, but simply stand. He has already fought the fight. He has already won it for the His glory, for the truth and for us.
It’s in the holding your ground, while surrendering to God, that we take a stand…the most effective stand. When you fight for yourself when you are undeserving, people will lose respect for you. When you fight for yourself out of hate or selfish-ambition, people will begin to despise you. BUT when you take a stand, a noble stand, people will respect you for it. God will take over and do the speaking, the fighting, the defending. And lets face it, God’s a much better fighter than us.
Have you ever felt the need to stand up for yourself and had it backfire? I have! Share your stories with us in the comments. 🙂
More passages in the Bible that tell us to depend on God to fight our battles:
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 37-39
“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
“And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
“But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” Ephesians 6:10