Fight Or Flee?

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith… (1 Timothy 6:11-12). 

Psychologists tell us that when faced with certain situations our bodies instinctively prepared to fight or flight. Knowing which situations to fight and which to run from are crucial for living a long and productive life. 

It’s no different in the spiritual realm. 

Christian leaders must know which things are worth the fight, and which things they simply must flee. To flee from things we should fight shows a lack of courage. But to try to fight the things we should run from shows a lack of wisdom. 

A mark of a godly leader is one who knows what to fight and what to flee.

Three things you must FIGHT for…

  1. …the purity of the true faith (1 Timothy 6:12; Jude 1:3)
  2. …the disempowered (Proverbs 31:8-9; Matthew 21:12-13)
  3. …the devil (1 Peter 5:9; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:11) 

Three things you must FLEE from…

  1. …idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14)
  2. …sexual sin (1 Corinthians 6:18; Genesis 39:12)
  3. …earthly riches (1 Timothy 6:9-11)

Don’t try to fight the things you must flee from, and don’t run away from the things you must fight for. Pray for God’s wisdom to know which is which. 

This is part 29 in my series on godly leadership. You can check out all of my posts in this series by clicking here.

Social Justice

Scales of social justiceThere is a lot of talk about “social justice”—speaking out and acting on behalf of those who are oppressed, marginalized and disenfranchised. This is close to God’s heart, too, as He describes “pure religion” in terms of caring for orphans and looking after widows (see James 1:27).

But we hinder our attempts at social justice if it’s not tied to God’s righteousness. Because without righteousness, we don’t have God’s unlimited help and are simply operating under our own limited power.

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. (Isaiah 59:1-2, emphasis added)

Justice is mentioned four times in this 59th chapter of Isaiah, but always in close proximity to righteousness

The opening verse is the perfect conclusion: God has the ability to help us (justice), but our lack of righteousness prevents Him from hearing our pleas and moving to action.

The single-best way to make social justice maximally effective is for each of us to pursue God’s righteousness. 

All efforts at social justice apart from God’s help will bring small, temporary gains at best. But even our smallest attempts at social justice with God’s help will bring lasting results for the greatest number of people.

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