Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. ~ 1 Timothy 6:12 (NLT)
I grew up in a household with one older brother. To say that we fought a lot would be an understatement. Well, actually, usually he just picked on me, which started a fight. So, I put the entire blame on him. We’d fight about everything and nothing all at the same time. Which song which just played on the radio was better? Who cared? We cared. What to watch on TV? We never agreed. Whose turn it was to do the yard work? It seemed to always be my turn. Then, of course, there were the long car rides where we’d find stuff to fight about, like how close we were sitting, that we looked at each other weird, or simply the fact that the other one was breathing. If you’ve got a sibling or two, you can probably relate.
Of course, our fights never actually got us anywhere, except being grounded or punished in some form or another by my parents. Nothing really ever got resolved when we fought. Neither of us was ever really ever willing to give any ground in the argument. We were right, and that’s what mattered.
Unfortunately, this same attitude creeps into our Christian churches far too often. We argue about stuff that ultimately doesn’t matter to the Kingdom of God. Does Jesus care what color the drapes are in the church building? No, I don’t think He does. Does He care if we have pews or chairs to sit on? No. He generally sat on the ground when He was on the Earth. Does He care if we’re vegan or not? No. The dude ate fish and lamb. (This isn’t to say that following a vegan lifestyle is wrong.) In short, we fight about all kinds of things in the church.
Ironically enough, our verse today comes from a man who initially dedicated his life to fighting the Christian. Saul, who later was dubbed Paul, fought with Christians about everything, even sending some to jail or worse. He was right, and that’s all that mattered. That is, until he realized that Jesus was all that mattered. His life changed. He decided the moment he met Jesus to only focus on Him. His entire ministry became about Jesus. His mantra? Keep the main thing the main thing. “Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.”