“Fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12)
Although Christians are called to be peacemakers, they are also called to fight. Not against their fellow humans, but against sin. Paul mentions temptation, harmful desires, and the craving for money as dangers that his pupil Timothy should flee. Instead, he should pursue “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness”.
Living such a holy life can be a real struggle. Our hearts still crave sin, the world around us presents a sinful lifestyle as particularly attractive, and our friends might tempt us to join them in activities God does not approve of. We can only resist these temptations through faith in Jesus Christ. His Spirit dwells in believers and strengthens them. Moreover, Paul draws our attention to “the eternal life to which you were called”. In comparison to this glorious future, earthly things fall far short.
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul describes his own battle against sin. His life was not easy, but it was worth it. At the end of his life, Paul concludes: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
Do you fight the good fight of the faith?