1. God says fight.1 Timothy 6:12 says “Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.” God never commanded you to be a wuss (follow this link – very educational and full of awesomeness). But God does command us to fight.
2. The culture says “whine and complain.”
Everywhere we’re told that it is important to emote and cry and whine every time you feel bad or get down.
There’s a whole industry built around the idea that whining is what wins the day. Every time there’s a problem in a school, the schools are flooded with counselors to help the children deal with the trauma. Everything is a soap opera. A drama.
Everywhere we turn we are told, in the words of George Will
, “that it is healthy for us continuously to take our emotional temperature, inventory our feelings and vent them. Never mind research indicating that reticence and suppression of feelings can be healthy.”
A few years back after a flood damaged books at the Boston Public library, counselors arrived to help librarians cope with their grief. Grief counselors for librarians upset about damaged books. I can’t say enough bad about that. First world problems for first world babies.
Counseling has its place, but I marvel at the fact that the first 200 years of our nation’s history produced greatness like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King. And not one of them ever had access to a counselor. How did they survive?
Much of our culture says whining and hurt feelings and being offended is the key to success.
3. Whining is a sin. Let that sink in. Really deep.
Israelites. In the desert. Just released from 400 years of slavery. Miraculously. Parting of Red Sea, plagues on Egypt, etc. They whined. Complained. God’s response? Goodbye. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them, and He departed. Numbers 12:9
Become a whiner – you are on your own.
I quote this verse as a recovering whiner (who still falls at times):
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.Philippians 2:14-15 NLT
4. Reject whining. Embrace the fight.
There are no testimonies of whining winning the day.
Again: 1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.”
That’s for you and me today. Don’t whine, don’t whimper, don’t run and panic. Fight the good fight. To the end.
His answer is not based on a stoicism that says “keep a firm face even as you go down in defeat.” It is a firm resolve based on the fact:
There is no panic in heaven. Only God’s plan.
Don’t quit. He’s saying get ready for what God is going to do in your life. Stand firm. God’s in control. Gut it up. Don’t whine. Don’t whimper. Stand firm.
Fight for your marriage.
Fight for your husband.
Fight for your wife.
Fight for your kids.
Fight against that sin that keeps you down.
Fight against your failings.
Fight against depression.
Fight against apathy.
Fight against the giants in your life.
1995 Baseball season – at a game that has been voted in one poll as the greatest moment in baseball history, a grey, older ball player, took off his cap – and for 23 minutes received a thunderous applause from the fans in
Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Cal Ripkin, called the nonstop shortstop, became the greatest iron man in baseball history.
Not an iron man because he had more runs, home runs, greatest hitter. But applauded because for 2,131, – that’s two thousand, one hundred and thirty one games
, he did one
thing: he showed up and played. When he was hurt. When he wasn’t hurt. When he was tired, when he energetic. Day after day, after day, week after week.
He showed up.
He became symbolic of many of the virtues perceived as disappearing from American sports: hard work, persistence, and modesty. He fought the good fight.
Maybe you are discouraged today. Maybe you are disappointed today. Those are powerful enemies. I’m here today, to tell you what God says. He says fight the good fight. Paul kept pushing, kept striving, kept going.
Write 1 Timothy 6:12 on your bathroom mirror post it on your phone, write it down and carry it with you. Fight the good fight. Gut it up. Don’t crawfish. Don’t complain. Don’t whine. You keep going. Christ is here. You grab onto Him, and keep going.
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