pick-your-battles

As a parent of six children I know the importance of “choosing my battles wisely.” For if we are not careful we can go from one confrontation and argument to the next. People push our buttons, and the closer they are in relationship to us the easier it is for them to do so.

The phrase “choosing our battles wisely” suggests that there are always opportunities to either make a big deal out of things or to just let it go. When we choose our battles wisely we have far more energy, patience and clarity to effectively win those battles that are most important. Yes that does mean we may have to bypass getting into a conflict about a difference of opinion or beliefs, comments on face book, a teenagers messy room, the toothpaste squeezed from the wrong end, and someone forgetting to take out the rubbish. But if we live in a constant state of arguing, confrontation and fighting over practically everything we run the risk of turning our lives into a war over the “small stuff”. Instead of our lives being filled with peace and love, we end up living a life of frustration and angst, losing track of what is truly relevant.

Believe it or not, life is not always going to be exactly the way we want it to be, and other people don’t always act as we would like them to. There are going to be people who argue, disagree and who think differently to us. But if we choose to make a big deal out of everything and always have to have things our way, its a sure recipe for unhappiness and strife.

Jesus never intended that we make it our primary goal to have a perfect, “our ducks all in a row,” type of life. Actually I think He quite like’s messing with our nicely ordered “ducks”. But He did say that if we make love our goal that we would experience His peace that goes beyond all understanding. (Philippians 4:4-7)

Choosing the way of love, rather than having things always our way clarifies which battles are worth fighting and which are better left alone. Love’s way silences us when we a feeling frustrated at the neighbours, a work colleague, the kids or our spouse. Love encourages us to let the small things go, so that we have energy for what really matters.

God’s word encourages us to “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behaviour from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that” (Ephesians 5:1-3 The Message)

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” (Proverbs 15:1 NLT)

Today, make love your goal, for as you do you may just find that you rarely have to battle at all.

Prayer: Lord help me to walk in love and peace today. Please give me wisdom to know those things that you are calling me to fight for, and those situations that are best left alone. In Jesus name Amen.