Fight the good fight of the faith.
Fight - agonizomai - to contend for a prize, struggle; to struggle, like engaged in an intense athletic contest or warfare
Good - kalos - beautiful, as an outward sign of the inward good, noble, honorable character
A good that inspires (motivates) others to embrace what is lovely (beautiful, praiseworthy), well done so as to be winsome (appealing)
Fight - agon - a gathering, contest, struggle in the soul, a grueling conflict
Faith - pistis - faith, belief, trust, confidence; fidelity, faithfulness
If we were sitting at my dining room table and talking, you and I might find each other comfortable enough to share our deepest struggles. I may share with you how much I have struggled in specific areas in my life and you may share with me your struggles in areas of your life.
But we're not.
But I want you to know that if we were, I would. I would tell you about the times God carried me, pulled me, dragged me, lifted me up, held onto me when I had no strength to hold onto him. I would. I would tell you those things, those struggles, not to boast in me, but to boast in Him.
I tell you now, here on this blog, what I would say face to face because I want you to know, without telling you any of the specifics of my past (and frankly those specifics are irrelevant) - I know what it is to struggle. I know.
So when I write on this blog and, to be honest, I really get sick of hearing myself (and I'm wondering if the time is coming to shut this blog down, yet he compels me to keep writing, to keep blabbing, to keep vomiting words that from where I sit as I nurse, if I were following this blog, I'd think the writer may need some medication) - I must write from my heart as it is the only place where He speaks to me. The place where He has changed me, where he has freed me, where he has made me whole and holy in his sight.
I do lead a bipolar life on here, wouldn't you agree? But you know what? I think that is what the struggle is - bipolar - having or marked by two mutually repellant forces or diametrically opposed natures or views. Duh! I think that's the churchy word for sinner and saint!
If we are not struggling for the beautiful, then maybe we're not in Him. (Gasp, see how judgy I am?!)
I want to love the sinner and hate the sin, but so many times I get them reversed.
I want to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, but most days I'm loving me with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
I want to love my neighbor as myself, but so often I find myself judging my neighbor as I judge myself. Harshly and with mean words.
Then, to add to the challenge here in America, someone has used the word of God to convince us that our rights supersede all other commands of God.
What a bipolar struggle to be inspiring the life of a follower of Christ is. We do it so poorly in our own eyes, don't we? But I wonder what God sees.
"Fight the right battles," he keeps waking me up to tell me. "Fight the right one."
"Which is the right one, Lord?"
"The one you struggle to love me with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Fight that one harder, then we'll talk about the others."
So, that's where I'm at as I struggle to fight the good fight. Where are you?