Shadow Boxing

2 Samuel 2:17

“So there was a very fierce battle that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David.”

If we had a bird’s eye view of the events that transpired that day, we would see two armies positioned to fight against one another. On one side, the armies of Ishbosheth, led by Abner, and on the other, the armies of David, led by Joab. After a contest designed to show the talent of the soldiers, a bloody battle ensued, leaving three hundred and eighty men dead. If we take a closer look, we will see that this is not two armies fighting, but one nation turning on itself. When the battle ended, no enemy had been defeated and no real victory had been won. Instead, we find a nation has turned upon itself, leaving hundreds of families devastated, and the seeds of future conflict being sown. This battle was more like a cancer, and in the end, Israel was weakened by its victory. 


The applications from this truth seem almost endless. We see it implemented when the church spends it’s time fighting over minor doctrinal issues or philosophies of ministry, instead of seeking to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world. We see it in marriages, when couples fight over insignificant things, forgetting that it is possible to win an argument and lose a marriage. We see it in relationships, when people are unwilling to humble themselves and forgive, when they feel they have been wronged, and their stubbornness destroys a friendship. 


For the sake of the kingdom, your family, and your own health, it is time we stop fighting the wrong battles. Paul wrote to the Corinthians regarding interpersonal conflicts they were having, and said,  


1 Corinthians 6:7

“Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?”


Sometimes, the best thing we can do is humble ourselves, and let the fight end. Jesus declared a blessing on those who seek to make peace (Matthew 5:9). 


Pastor Jim 


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