What is worth fighting for in your life?
What are you willing to fight for?
Are your family, your health, your job, or your reputation being tested? If so, what lengths would you go to in order to protect them? We must ask ourselves if these foundations are worth standing up for, worth perhaps losing something else for. Truth be told, I am not actually much of a fighter, in terms of relationships. Most of my adult life I have avoided conflict at all cost. Sometimes I miss the teenage version of myself, which was very different. I was a rebel, at times quite stubborn and possibly un-likeable.
As I preview turning 50, there is a nudge to find balance to my battle ground. Anything worth living for is also worth fighting for, right?
Let’s take a moment to ask ourselves what we would fight for. One of the best quotes I have heard Pastor Rick Warren say is, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything!” Pastor Rick has also stated, “We are most like Jesus when we remain silent under false accusation.” Wherein do these two roads meet? I say it’s personal for each of us.
In the past ten years, I have had my character questioned three times. Two of them were by the same person and the other by someone who knows absolutely nothing about me. All three accusations were so far off that I found myself in shock, barely able to respond. Circumstances were completely out of my control and lies had already been cashed in. What was I supposed to do? Have you been in this situation with friends, family, or a coworker? When is it worth the fight?
One thing I believe wholeheartedly is that the older we get, the less important it is to be popular or liked. Some people simply don’t want to know the truth and it is important we assess the potential outcome of jumping into the proverbial ring. We simply cannot stand for what we believe in and please the masses at the same time. Sometimes we have to walk away from people when the cost of fighting is not worth it.
When do we fight back and how do we handle ourselves with humility in doing so?
Time is often the answer. Give things time before responding. Silence is a powerful, humble tool.
The next line of defense is to say these four words: “It’s. NOT. About. Me.” Before I go on, by all means call yourself out if you are in fact responsible for a problem or misunderstanding. Too often, however, we are unjustly accused or conveniently in the line of fire of somebody else’s personal inferno. This is the time for those four magical protective words. Once we realize not everything is personal we give ourselves the confidence to move in or move on.
Another powerful line of defense is to breathe. We hold our breathe constantly, not realizing that deep breathing has astounding benefits in regulating emotions.
Writing has been another great outlet for my emotions over the years. My husband has an incredible knack for debating verbally. I on the other hand know exactly what I feel, but need to write it down to make it clear. Have you ever left an argument and role played in your head everything you wish you had said? Visualize me raising my hand with you. When we write things down we can edit, add to, and even delete our deepest thoughts. Keep in mind that some words are better left unspoken.
Ultimately I believe prayer is the greatest strategy in defending ourselves. Countless moments have occurred in my life when I prayed through difficult decisions and asked God to take control of the outcome. Sometimes situations were fixed and other times relationships severed. To this I say, “His will not mine.”
Today I encourage you to list or make a mental note of the people and points in your life that are worth fighting for. May you strive to be the truest version of yourself and stand up for what you believe in. This doesn’t mean convincing others of what you believe in. It means being clear in your own purpose and intention. Every. Single. Day.