I Have Kept the Faith and the Faith Has Kept Me: Part Two

II Timothy 4: 6 – 8

The Apostle Paul wrote of his life as a competitor for Jesus saying: “I have fought the good fight.”

The word translated “fight” is the Greek word “agon.” It is the root from which we get our word agony. It did not necessarily refer to a boxing match, but any athletic contest and the agony of preparation and participation involved.  The Olympic Oath says in part: “The most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle…Not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

This expression often is thought to mean he fought well — and he did. However, what it means is the fight he chose to fight was worth the effort.

A bulldog can beat a skunk, but is it worth the fight?

Oliver Wendell Holmes, one of our nation’s greatest former Supreme Court jurists, said, “The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.” 

What is your direction in life?  Where is it going?

Like Paul I want to be able to say, “I fought,” not “I sat in the bleachers.”

British minister Martin Luther said: “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however fondly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steadfast on all the battle-front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

For what are you fighting? Bumper stickers reveal persons who are fighting for whales, seals, eagles, owls, etc. 

All of us fight battles. Have you chosen a good one to fight? Does it honor Christ?

Again a philosophical source with which I have little in common provides us wisdom. Victor Frankl said, “Life only has meaning if there is a task, and the more difficult the task, the more meaningful the life.”

If your task, that is your goal, is to please Christ, you have chosen a worthy and difficult one. It is deserving of your optimum effort — your best.

A lesson of unpreparedness and resultant frustration came from a recent Olympics in the boxing arena. The pity on the face of the boxer who came to the ring pointing to his ungloved fists and pleading with his coach to find his gloves will long be remembered. They gave him three minutes to find his gloves. After years of training he couldn’t find his gloves and was declared the loser. 

If you intend to “fight the good fight,” don’t forget the necessities of a vital

Bible knowledge, a viable prayer life, and a virtuous lifestyle.