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Risk It! Stand Ground. Give Ground.

May 23, 2015

Pick your battles.  There is a time to stand and a time to give ground.  Use wisdom.  Move purposefully.

Phil:1:27: But whatever happens, make sure that your everyday life is worthy of the gospel of Christ.  So that whether I do come and see you, or merely hear about you from a distance, I may know that you are standing fast in a united spirit, battling with a single mind for the faith of the gospel and not caring two straws for your enemies. (J.B. Phillips translation).

A winner….. knows when to fight and when to compromise.

A loser ….. fights over the wrong things and compromises at the wrong time.

Hebrews 12:14  Let it be your ambition to live at peace with all men and to achieve holiness “without which no man shall see the Lord”  (J.B. Phillips translation)

Winners know when to fight to win and when to give.  In the song, “The Gambler”, the advice was given, “You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.”  There is a fight worth fighting, and there are items in life not worth the effort.

Winston Churchill in the darkest hours of England’s battles with Germany had this sense.  When others wanted to lay down and give up he stood ground and challenged, “Never give up.  Never give up.  Never give up.”  The war was won over courage and tenacity and knowing the fight needed to be fought.

You have to know when to fight. After living in their new home for a year, the Newbies had a major problem.  Sewage came running over into the downstairs bath, living room, and entry foyer.  What a mess!  Massive cleanup, roto-rooter, and a few days of showering at the neighbors did not fix it.  The city claimed the problem was theirs, the plumber claimed the city needed to fix it.  Two great neighbors and a day of digging exposed a major city problem.  Out they came, and yes, they fixed it.  They dug 14 feet deep, repaired the sewer main, and replaced fences they had to tear down.  But, they didn’t take care of the carpet and house.  Forms, forms, and more forms, telephone calls, working with city attorneys, and a lot of prayer resulted in a surprise.  One night the local city councilman called to alert the Newbies that their reimbursement request was scheduled to get the hatchet the next day at the city council meeting.  P. Newbie showed up at the council meeting of this large metropolitan community.  Deep in the docket was a line item scratching the claim along with over 30 other homeowners.  What could he do?  Fight.  Fight for his wife to get carpet.  Fight for restoration.  Fight he did.  First in prayer, then in rhetoric.  “Mayor, my friends and I dug a 7 foot deep hole to show the city that the problem was theirs, I am willing to dig a 7 foot deep rhetorical hole to help the council see it needs to pay these costs.”  The council halted him right there and offered to pay a reasonable settlement.  No one else was awarded that day.  The clerk could not believe it when she issued the check.

You have to know when to give and compromise The budget battle was intense.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars in expansion monies were battled over by several departments.  Systems executives along with P. Newbie decided to withdraw and let the money go to retail remodels.  Eight months later accounting in an executive meeting moved $50,000.00 to systems and challenged them, “See what you can do with that.”  After 30 days of scramble and results, they gave them another $400,000.00 to spend moved from retail remodels

Take Inventory

Where do you need to fight?  Does someone need defending?

Where do you need to lay down your arms?  Is it better to give now and win a friend?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

Pray To Have Wisdom

Father, teach me.  Show me wisdom to count the costs of every battle and decide.  Help me to see when I need to simply serve by not fighting for my preferences.  Help me see when I need to rise and defend my family, pastor, employer, friends.  Enliven my heart to be a wise warrior with what is entrusted to me.

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