People fight over the dumbest things sometimes. I used to work with a woman who came into the office one day bragging about the fact that she had gotten even with her neighbor the night before. She had gotten home from work to find some dog manure in her yard. She had told her neighbor several times before to keep her dog on her own property. My coworker took a shovel, picked up the manure, and put it on the hood of her neighbor’s car. I could understand why my coworker was upset, but was a pile of dog poop worth fighting over? Probably not.
I knew some folks once who had a property dispute. A woman moved into a neighborhood and within a year or two of moving in decided to expand her borders a bit. She put up a generic fence about a foot passed her property line, hoping one of her neighbors wouldn’t notice. When that neighbor noticed, he simply took her fence down, rolled it up, and threw it back on her property. Was that worth fighting for? In my opinion, yes. He had paid for that property and he given her that foot, she probably would have taken a yard.
There have been many times in my life when I have had to choose my battles. Some things I have chosen to fight for and when it comes to other matters, I have simply decided to hold my peace. I’m sure we have all been there and done that, right?
How does a person know what battles are worth fighting?
It depends on the person. Some individuals enjoy a battle. They fight over everything! For those folks, they probably need to work on relaxing a little bit before they cause themselves an early heart attack. No matter what the issue is, they probably shouldn’t fight about it. On the opposite end of that spectrum, there are some folks who never seem to get upset about anything. They can be made fun of, cursed at, have things stolen from them, have their loved ones mistreated, and never seem to bat an eye. Those individuals probably need to learn how to stand up and say “enough is enough” sometimes. Then, there is the guys and gals in the middle who get along with just about anybody, but they have their limits. They know how and when to stand their ground. Those folks should just keep right at it.
Everyone has their own opinions, but here are some things that I don’t think are worth a battle:
- Proving who is right about things that happened in the past. (Arguing about something that has already taken place is not going to change the facts of the matter. What happened has already happened. Let it go.)
- Money. The Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil. It causes a lot of contention. If you find yourself arguing about money, stop it! It’s not worth the battle – ever.
- Boyfriends/Girlfriends. If you’re single and a friend is interested in the same person you are interested in, perhaps you should both move on and find somebody else. Don’t let a crush cause you to lose a life-long friend. It’s not worth it.
- Bragging rights. Who cares who is the better driver, artist, or singer? Does it really matter? The Bible teaches us to be humble. Don’t let competition go to your head.
There are also some things that I believe are always worth fighting for.
- Children. We ought to always be willing to fight for our children. That doesn’t mean defending our children when they are clearly in the wrong. But it means fighting for them to have the best possible future they can have (whether that be standing up to
others mistreating them or standing up to our children to teach them right from wrong).
- Morality. Never compromise your standards just to please someone else. If someone gets mad because you hold yourself to high standards, so be it. Stand your ground. Don’t budge. (I’m not saying if you have low standards and someone tries to get you to raise the bar, that you shouldn’t try to grow or learn. It’s a wonderful thing to have a teachable spirit. We should all raise our standards whenever we can. What I’m saying is don’t compromise – or lower your standards just to keep someone’s friendship.)
- Marriage. When you get married, you make a vow to be with that other person for better or for worse. You make a vow to that other person and oftentimes to God as well. God created you and God created the person you married. He said no one was to put asunder what God had brought together. Fight for your marriage, no matter how difficult that fight might be and no matter how unlikely it might look for you to gain a victory. Just remember how unlikely it looked for David to defeat Goliath – we know who got that victory, right?