Anticipate your battles; fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory.
We are responsible for raising warriors. Those who can rise up and resist the lust of conformity and the whispering embrace of standing invisible behind a man or a crowd or a belief system that wanes. We are nothing if we cannot propagate a generation of thinkers, insisting that our children use persuasion instead of force, logic instead of emotion, and truth at all times over the callous laziness of a lie.
If you want power in this life you can either earn it or steal it, fear it or abuse it. And most people can’t even handle it because the allure of one’s ego dislodges the root and all that’s left is withering leaves. Ayn Rand said that “the argument from intimidation is a confession of intellectual impotence,” so let’s all quit claiming others are evil, heartless, dishonest, or ignorant just to avoid the research, debate, and collegial sparring. We could bemoan the fact that we live in a fallen world or we could just lace up our damn sneakers. Our minds and souls are a thin veil between human and ape, so let’s not waste the opportunity to sharpen our own ax.
I grow tired of Jesus portrayed as a long-haired hippie who went around singing lullabies, gathering children, and saying “make love not war.” Jesus was the definition of power, and had not only the ability to speak truth, but be truth, who faced the devil and the desert. He never backed down. Moses didn’t lead an entire people out of Egypt by taking exit polls and Abraham didn’t just sit around wondering what Fox News had to say about a particular subject.
We must raise up our children to be resilient, like the skin of a tomato that withstands heat from the sun until it’s finally plucked from the vine, with tough skins and fruit dripping with sweet. We must insist upon obedience to the Lord at all costs, for it sharpens the mind and allows us to rely not on our own understanding.
Those that hold power hold influence, and without strong arms and tough skins we cannot withstand the prison of this long-suffering life filled with decay and cells that eat at the fiber of our souls.
Oh my children, pure as honeycomb plucked from the field. You are so joyful and full of hope, and I pray that you remain always optimistic. But mark my words in blood that we are at war. A war of a thousand pricks that sting but do not rip, because our defenses are growing weaker. We are not building up an army of strength, but of men who capitulate, and sit in air conditioning, and shrug their shoulders at truth. And how can a woman know the value of a scar if she does not set foot in the ring?
But beware, for true power does not bully or goad. Our design should not be to win arguments, but hearts. “[W]hen we observe how ineffective our debates are, it would be far better to listen to Scripture, and lament how ineffective our debaters are. This is a pursuit that must be encouraged, honored, and praised, and we must provide the requisite training for those who are called to it.” – Doug Wilson.
The masses point and shout and tell us we are weak alone, and only through union are we secure. But that is a lie that cannot hold you. One man can do great things, through Christ alone who strengthens. So lace up those sneakers, fit the buttonholes with cufflinks, strap on your police badge or white coat or hard hat, and start fighting. Get in that ring, my sons and daughters, and don’t be afraid to train hard.
It’s hard because it’s worth it, and because God insists upon it, and because the wounds leave behind scars that become the very the armor you wear proudly and graciously, standing before the throne of victory.