‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith’ (2 Tim 4:7)

‘Fighting the good fight’ is a phrase that Paul used several times in his writings. In common usage it is used to denote a struggle for anything that a person considers good or noble- for instance the struggle to obtain justice or the struggle a person might be waging against cancer in his life. In the historical context, it was used to describe any war that was fought in the name of religion and hence justified by the perpetrators. But what did Paul imply when he used this phrase?

A master of metaphors, Paul uses this term to describe the struggle that Christian life is and the need for a Christian to face the spiritual battle that ensues when he starts the Christian pilgrimage. Neither the new Christian nor those who observe him realize that the moment he takes a step to accepting Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord, a huge spiritual movement takes place. This movement consists of his spirit being awakened to life and of him beginning to move through the spiritual realm. Rescued from death, he now also finds arrayed against him the spiritual forces that are bent on wrecking his new found faith and opposing his journey to abundance in Christ. And so to survive and make progress, he finds himself in a battle with these spiritual forces. As Paul points out elsewhere,

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.’ (Ephesians 6:12).

This is the good fight. It is not as much a physical battle that the Christian wages but the spiritual battle that he is forced to undergo following his conversion. He can choose not to fight it and end up making no progress in his spiritual journey. But when he fights it, he begins to experience the fullness of God in a greater measure. Hence it is a good fight that reaps eternal dividends.

The phrase ‘good fight’ also implies that there are other fights that are of little benefit. All his life, man undertakes several struggles- that for money, power, social standing, security, chasing his dreams and so on. Everyone fights some fight. Choose to fight the good fight and all other fights will become easy!

What is your perspective of ‘fighting the good fight’. Do share.

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