For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Eph 6:12).
Over the years I have learned to choose the battles that are worth fighting, and I leave the rest for a better occasion or for those who have more free time.
This does not mean that I always get it right, because sometimes, they make the battle very easy and the flesh is weak, but I try to settle sterile debates with a “God bless you”.
So, a few days ago I commented on how sad, and concerned, I feel when I see some terrible debates between Christians on social media..
Public debates full of cross disqualifications between people with different doctrinal approaches, in which they defend their respective theological positions, on passages or issues that, many times, contribute little or nothing to the majesty of the Gospel of Christ.
And if they were only debates between neophyte believers it would have a pass.
But it is even sadder to see how some of the debaters are people of a certain level in their churches. Or that from very famous pulpits worldwide darts are thrown against other denominations or doctrinal positions.
The only thing I usually get out of these discussions is the veracity of Jesus’ statement recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 10 and verses 35 to 36: For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.
It is a devastating passage, which shows us how dissent, that hard and disqualifying debate, ends up degenerating into enmity and provoking real battles, in which in the end the only thing that is pursued is to destroy the adversary.
On other occasions, disqualifications are directed towards politicians of one or the other sign. That if they are atheists, that if they are corrupt, that if they are reds, that if they are dictators… As if we were perfect and blameless and capable of throwing that first stone. And as if these politicians, in many cases without a correct spiritual life, if not recalcitrant atheists, with a decree could make society change in matters that, to believers filled with the Holy Spirit, cost us effort and time.
And mind you, I am not saying that we do not denounce injustice or heresy. What I am saying is that we must know how to pick our battles. Those that confront us with our true enemies. As the apostle Paul tells us in the Epistle to the Ephesians, chapter 6 and verse 12: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
What this passage is leading us to consider is that our spiritual struggle is not against unbelieving people, nor against those who oppose the Gospel, nor against our persecutors and, much less, against our brothers in the faith, those who have Jesus as their Lord and Savior, even if they think differently in some matters.
With all these people we may have disagreements, even diametrically opposed opinions. But in these cases what is necessary is dialogue based on respect. That attitude of examining everything and retaining the good that the apostle Paul advised the Thessalonians. And to put away from us any attempt to impose our criteria or personal positions, and to go with the spirit of enriching the life of the other person, considering what the others might be right.
Because not having a struggle against flesh and blood means that our real struggle is with the spiritual hosts of evil, those who enslave and harm people’s lives. The same spiritual forces who are trying to make you return to your former life and abandon the way of salvation.
If you really want to dedicate your time and energies in battles with your true adversaries start loving your enemies, praying for those who persecute and outrage you, doing good to all, interceding for your brothers and pastors, worshiping God, meditating on His Word and sharing it with the lost.
For there is nothing more powerful to destroy strongholds, defeat demons and save lives than a Christian who lives and acts according to his faith, in love, simplicity and holiness.
God bless you.