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 There is overwhelming consensus as to what victory in battle looks like. By most accounts, Vietnam was not a win for America, nor was Afghanistan for the Russians. A clear-cut victory involves either the decimation of your enemy or a surrender of their military leadership on the field of battle. When we get into allowing one side or the other to define victory, then it becomes absurd, and both sides can claim that they won and the others lost because everything becomes subjective.

He may have broken my nose and shattered my orbital socket, but I got him with a good haymaker. I think, at worst, it was a draw, but I feel like I kind of won. But he walked out of the ring of his own volition, and you had to be carried out. You need three months of recovery, and he’s carded for another fight in a week. How was that a victory?

Besides the delusional that insist they won even though they lost because they demand to define what victory is, and if they’re still breathing, it’s a win in their book, there are also the Pyrrhic victories we must contend with in life. A Pyrrhic victory is a technical win, but a win that came at such a high cost that it wasn’t worth it.

Sure, you won the argument with your neighbor about where your property line is versus his, but it came at the cost of your house getting burned down, your wife leaving, and you ending up in a mental institution mumbling something about not my land, not my land. That’s a Pyrrhic victory. It would have been a lot less painful if you’d just trimmed the hedge and not insisted it was your neighbor’s responsibility because they extended into his property.

Some people devote entirely too much time to fighting for things that aren’t worth the fight and surrendering things that are hills to die on. Some things are worth defending to the death, then there are others we should give up on, but our pride won’t allow it. It is wisdom itself to identify which is which and swallow our pride when necessary because even if you were to win the battle, you’d lose the war by focusing on tertiary things that have no salvific bearings.

We’ve all heard the saying pick your battles. We’ve likely heard it because it’s timeless and is apropos both in the natural as well as the spiritual. When more time is spent infighting than fighting the enemy, the chances of a victorious outcome dwindle daily. I have neither the time nor the energy to get into a war of words with you over whether it’s wrong to call Jesus, Jesus when degenerates, psychopaths, and perverts are trying to indoctrinate four-year-olds. 

Is it because we know we can’t get hurt that we start picking fights with other believers? Is it because we know they won’t fight dirty, so we just poke and poke at them until they get fed up and pursue origami instead? If something is unbiblical, wrong, or can lead others to destruction, call it out, and be clear about it. If the disagreement is between Jesus or Yeshua, and if Jesus only answers to one of the two names, you just have too much free time on your hands.

Before we can begin discussing victory and what it looks like, we must first identify the enemy and make sure we’re not just shadowboxing ourselves into a corner. Make sure whom you’re swinging at is your enemy and not an ally, a foe, and not a friend.

Friendly fire isn’t just a thing in a sandbox half a world away, it happens regularly within the household of faith, and the hurt in the eyes of those who were the victims of it is real and raw. It’s the surprise more than anything. Here you were, thinking you were standing shoulder to shoulder doing battle against the darkness, and out of nowhere, those you were supposed to be standing shoulder to shoulder with start sticking knives between your ribs because the enemy’s offer to switch sides was just too tempting.

At least call it what it is, and don’t pretend you did it for the sheep’s sake. When supposed shepherds demonize those preaching the gospel and label them unloving, insensitive, caustic, divisive, or intolerant, they’re not doing it to protect the sheep. They’re doing it to keep the sheep docile while feeding them to the wolves.

You cannot make concessions to what the Bible says are absolutes and then still expect the victory God promised you would have. You cannot serve another master, follow different teaching, and pursue an alternate path, yet act surprised when you don’t end up where you thought you would.

The troubling thing is that I don’t believe you can fight for the wrong side unwittingly. I don’t think you can accidentally reject the truth and embrace the lie, hating and despising those who still insist that God meant what He said and He will not change His sentiment just because spoiled children demand it.

Perhaps we need to be reminded that we are in a war, and in a war, there are spies, and infiltrators, double agents, and misleading narratives, because the goal isn’t to make friends with the enemy, it’s to be victorious against him.

There will come a day when those who were duped or otherwise led astray will return to those who lied to their face and demand an explanation. What they’ll get is an eye roll and a shoulder shrug. You assumed they cared when they just pretended to. If they’d really cared, they would have told you the truth.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Posted on 5 March 2023 | 1:59 pm

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1. Mar 31, 2023 - Classifications
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23. Mar 5, 2023 - Victory
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25. Mar 2, 2023 - Clothed

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