Rarely does anyone enjoy a nasty fight, but a good fight doesn’t seem as distasteful does it?
Here is an example:
Back in the old college days, I remember a big room full of young men all pumped up and excited by the prospect of some good matching up of us guys to wrestle. Basically none of us had professional training besides a mentor in the college, actually the Dean of Student Life at the time, Paul Wilson. I remember him talking about his championship days and what it takes to be a good wrestler. I remember taking notes on the general principles. I also knew some other mentors who had been champion wrestlers and things they told me about posture and key factors. Other than that, I personally at least don’t remember any formal training. Another buddy of mine, Kevin, was real scrappy and had some country like background like me and was a similar size. He too I think had heard of the general principles for how to carry out a good wrestling match. Both of us were strong and fit and full of energy. We are still close friends to this day. After each of us had taken down a few of our friends in short wrestling matches, we were put against each other by the guys. I specifically remember the guys saying things about how the two of us would make a great wrestling match. There were maybe twenty or so guys all around us and pretty excited by the matching up of the two of us. We had never tangled before and were both a little winded by the former matches. After a little breather, we both went to it and wrestled each other for I believe eight minutes give or take. We eventually came to a point of heaving heavily in a grip both on our knees still, never having pinned the other… The guys enjoyed it and so did we. We sat down exhausted and laughing with big smiles on our faces. Guys, right? This is true fun, dude!
Okay, so I will admit that I did get a rug burn from this incident that eventually led to me having to study with my foot in the air for a couple of weeks. I went with my Dad’s advice and walked to the prompt care in town about a half mile away to get anti-biotics. While on an exam table for the doctor to look at my foot, he pressed on my foot and I passed out. I woke up to a nurse dabbing my crotch area, and I realized I had completely emptied my bladder when I passed out. How embarrassing! I asked, “Can she please leave?” The doctor prescribed anti-biotics and no one dared push on my would after that. I had to walk back to campus with my longer east coast style pea coat covering my now soaked pants, smelling like an outhouse. I walked past the area where we had been so manly and wrestled to a stand-still with my hands in my pockets holding the jacket out in front of me so I wouldn’t let my jacket get pee on it. Got undressed and washed my clothes and finally got into my room feeling relieved to be where no one could smell and tell that I’d peed myself as a grown man. What a humbling experience! Here I am writing publicly about it all these years later, but it’s refreshing to document it now all these years later to illustrate the contrast of what we portray, our best public moments of strength, able to match our peers with zest and power and passion and wisdom and might and so much more. We love for everyone to know we can match the best in the crowd. We can beat the best or at least stand shoulder to shoulder with them. What a victorious moment! What about the moments however that others don’t see, the moments that help others realize that we all poop for instance. We all put on our pants one leg at a time (except for those exciting moments in my life when I’ve jumped into my pants with both legs in the same moment!!!)…
Why do we like a good fight? Why do we get excited about matching our bronze or seeing others do so? A good fight is an opportunity to see strength or wisdom or skill on display. What makes or a nasty fight? No willingness between the participants or poor motives for getting into the scrap maybe? I know for instance of instances where someone fought someone else to prove something or to impress a girl or to shame someone. There are always motives in getting into scraps. Healthy scraps aren’t always wrestling matches that are sanctioned by organizations. Sometimes we have discussions on social media for instance that people get up tight about and don’t enjoy or even “unfriend us” over. Does that mean we shouldn’t have had that discussion? Interesting for sure to discuss, but what benefit is there to us avoiding controversy at all costs? My wife and I learned years ago that a key in marriage for instance is to fail forward and to fight well… We will fail each other in our marriage, but if we area always learning from where we fail, we will fail forward. If we are always learning to “fight” with agreed boundaries and rules, we will get stronger in those verbal wrestling matches.
It’s so critical to learn to enjoy the process of engaging with others for the goal of getting stronger and being able to be humble, able to be wrong, able to hear things from a different perspective.
Let’s work on re-introducing “good” into our thoughts about disagreements at every level.
Let’s remember to call out for God’s guidance and direction in how to establish our relationships in LOVE and remember that love in the generic sense doesn’t win. Just being kind for instance doesn’t win. True winning isn’t the beating up of another. True success isn’t the stepping on the heads of others. True victory is actually the lifting of others for the glory of Christ. Our goal should be to love the GOOD GOD OVER ALL ABOVE ALL and in this place of following Jesus, we will see that our ultimate wrestle is not with each other but with the enemy of our souls, and it is a good fight that’s to the death, and Jesus ultimately breaks the back of the enemy! Jesus steps on the head of Satan! So, we too can tread where angels fear to tread and walk into the holy of holies praying in Jesus’ name, enjoying the wrestle with the Holy Spirit, asking for God to break through every stronghold of Satan, that we would see God’s empowering of us to plunder the camp of the enemy of our souls!
Remember loved ones. We have the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in our camp… in fact, we are in God’s camp if we have trusted in Jesus to lift our drooping hands. And, we have two thirds of the angels who are not fallen angels. They are angels in deed, pure and pursuing our enemies in the heavenly / spiritual realms. The demonic is continuously being beat back by twice the force in the angelic and Satan’s lies are being beat back by the Holy Spirit working through His people to pray continually one for another and for the lost, that all the nations would know the Living God in the power of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ultimate glorification!!!
May we enter into a day-to-day worship of the Living God TOGETHER!
In Jesus’ name,