Ever watch an MMA match before? Honestly, I don’t often but I have seen my fair share on TV. It’s like a car wreck! I just can’t look away. One good punch, in just the right spot, can leave a person completely disoriented. All of a sudden, someone, who was so amped and ready to conquer, is throwing punches in the air, swinging and missing. In the end, they’re the ones left with the bloody nose and a winning opponent. Let’s not reminisce over Ronda Rousey’s loss. Ekkkkk, that was brutal.
In the times when we need to, when we have to combat difficult situations or people, it’s important to remember how to fight well and not give up. The wrong moves will keep you from your potential and from advancing to your next level.
Paul wrote a letter to Timothy and gave him some of the best advice he could ever receive as a developing leader. When I read this, my ears perk up, because duh, I want to be better at life and leading! So let’s take a quick look:
“Timothy, my son, I am giving you instruction in keeping with the prophecies previously made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the good fight.”
1 Timothy 1:18
ONE. Paul didn’t just give Timothy aimless instruction. Paul was a pretty smart dude. He could have thrown all of his knowledge and experience at Timothy in one shot, or he could have tooted his horn like an over-zealous bugle boy. Afterall, what he accomplished was pretty impressive. Paul didn’t though. Instead, he gave Timothy tailored instruction. He gave him what he needed, not just for the present moment but what he needed to develop into the person he was going to be.
He gave him advice in line with what was spoken over his life. Think about it this way. Imagine with me a little. You’re entrusted to train a new employee at the clothing store you manage. You’re not going to tell them how to cook a good meal, how to change the oil in their car or how to install a fence! How useless would that be for them!? “Hi, can you check the stockroom for a size medium?” “Hmm, no but I can tell you how to get the ice machine working in your refrigerator, babe.” That just sounds like a bad pick up line! USELESS. Obviously, you’re going to teach them how to fold the clothes in your store, how to work the cash register and how to interact with customers. Paul tailored his instruction to give Timothy his best shot at succeeding.
TWO. Why did he give him instruction in line with his calling? Because in the moments that suck, plain English, it is easy to lose sight of the person you are developing into.
It can be effortless at times, to get wrapped up in what is going on in your present moment. It’s easy to get hung up on your hang ups. You are simply pushed off track because of slight comments or the opposition of others (Don’t be Ronda!).
If you are reading this, Christian or not, I think we can agree that the people who advance and succeed in life are usually people who have one foot in the present and one foot in the future.
What do I mean by that? They continually straddle the tension of working hard and being present in the moment, while embracing the mindset that: this is where I am heading, this is who I will become, this is my end game.
THREE. Paul uses this one word that I believe is advice we can ALL use while we walk the line of present and future. “Recall.”
What do we do when we feel like:
we failed again?
we are coming against opposition?
we are faced with a big decision?
we are overcoming the negative labels spoken over our lives?
things are falling apart?
our feet are too small to fit in these proverbially big shoes?
We recall our DESTINY and put into ACTION the instruction we have received.
That is how we fight the good fight. We don’t allow outside forces to interfere with where we are going.
So, on that note, remember you are called to fulfill a certain, tailor-designed purpose in life. A great parent. An inventor. A sound and encouraging friend. A leader of your circle – at home, at work, in your community.
In the moments you doubt, RECALL the CALLing placed over your life. Remember, where you are is not where you are going to be forever. Put into action the instruction and wise counsel you have received. Shake the unfavorable things off quickly and move forward. Stand for your convictions. Build yourself up as you run ahead. Keep giving love that comes from a pure heart. Keep a good conscience and develop, along the way, a sincere faith.
Today and every day, fight well.