Michelle Dowell, Contributor
The metaphor of the Christian life being a fight or a war has been popular at times.
If life is a fight or war, where's the time for rest? For the Sabbath? For peace and enjoyment? Surely, focusing on that metaphor for too long or to the exclusion of the other parts of God's commands is going in the wrong direction.
Wisdom that is directed by a fear of God's Word helps to know when it's an appropriate time to "fight." One of those times is resisting the pressure, even in Christian circles, to be too much of a people pleaser or say easy answers when harder ones might need to be given.
An example is saying no to an opportunity to participate or seem interested in gossip in a time and place where it is very accepted. The people around you will scoff and even try to tell you to be better--the way they use "better" is defined by them as conforming to their style.
Faith in God, that his commands are good, is needed in a time like that. The cost of making a decision to not participate in those conversations could lead to losing friendships or even being teased often about it. But whether or not you lose friendships for those right decisions, it will matter in the end. You will not only honor God but also help protect the lovely other people in your life and also yourself.
It's important to at times evaluate the culture, what's accepted and expected in both Christian circles and the wider world. And to be ready to not participate in things that are deemed acceptable to them but don't match godly wisdom.
Another benefit to the wartime or fight metaphor is that it is a focus on the big picture of what matters. Little things, like whether our hair looks just right or we feel like we're weak or how much we have at the moment, don't matter as much. The most important thing is to honor God, which includes acting and helping. That's one important thing God wants us to do. To have a generous heart that wants to protect and help others.