by Niki Turner
My first childhood pet was a long-haired orange and white cat who adopted our family ... probably because my mom and I kept providing food. I christened the animal "Charlesina," later discovering Charlesina was actually Charles.
A lifelong alley cat, Charles was prone to disappearing for the night, only to return limping and wounded, with torn ears and a scratched nose. My folks would shake their heads and comment, "He's a lover, not a fighter."
As a Christian, I can relate.
There's as much fighting in the body of Christ as there is faith, it seems. The latest controversy revolves around Pastor Rob Bell and his latest book. You know it's a BIG controversy when questions about church doctrine show up on Good Morning America. (I will refrain from further comment until such time as I have read Bell's book for myself.)
While that's a big skirmish, there are plenty of little fights underway. Choose your battles carefully, dear Christian! Are you sure that's a doctrinal hill you're willing to die for, in light of the true mountain of God?
What we write and what we say are an expression of what we believe to be true.
Like my childhood cat, there are battles aplenty out there in the cold, dark streets of the world. It's so easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of debates and arguments and name-calling. But that's not what we're called to in Christ Jesus. We're called to be lovers.
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.Romans 13:9-10 NKJV
Walking in love, choosing our words and actions according to the law of love, is the ultimate act of a warrior for Christ. Not spewing vindictive accusations, not waving a placard, not defending and justifying ourselves, not fillibustering on blogs and message boards. Loving your neighbor as you love yourself IS the action of a Christ-fighter.
Will you be a lover, or a fighter?
Niki Turner writes romantic fiction, Christian non-fiction, blog posts, articles in the local newspaper, grocery lists, and Facebook status updates. Her first completed manuscript won second place in the 2009 Touched By Love contest for contemporary category romance. Colorado natives, Niki and her husband of 20+ years have four children (three at home) and are soon-to-be grandparents. In 1998 they planted a church in rural northwestern Colorado. Currently, they share their home with three teenage boys, two black Lab mutts, and Niki’s absurdly spoiled Westie, Archie. Niki can be found at In Truer Ink, her personal blog and website, here at Inkwell Inspirations, and at The Pastor’s Wife Speaks.