[CF Devotionals] 2017-07-19 - Pick Your Battles

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After some research online, I am still a bit perplexed regarding the origin of this quote “I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent”. I’ve heard variations of it used with various people receiving credit for the thought, yet the first time I recall hearing the particular wording I’ve included was in a disagreement with my brother in High School. The idea has been credited to Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain and more - yet it was quite fitting I first heard it from my brother, him being quite witty and from my estimation quite intelligent, albeit an attribute I found quite daunting as a young woman who often struggled quite a bit more than he did, particularly in school. I learned to find my own path in school, and also in the department of wit. I mostly amuse myself with it as a release valve when life feels like it’s pressing down on me. It makes me giggle when thinking about the quote, even though at first, my brother was insulting me (lovingly, of course) and upon realizing it, he sparked my version of wit developing evermore.

More recently this quote came into my head (trying to find a happy place in my mind) as I have been attempting to get to the bottom of a medical insurance issue with some amount of class and dignity, while still actually receiving a proper answer to my original question. We can affirm or tear down with words, and although I am highly intent on edifying my maker, I am finding it more difficult to retain my dignity in the process of attempting to get needed answers with our insurance coverage. Carefully thought-out arrangements of words to make it clear what I need to know and who might have the correct information for me are taking me to a sea of forgetfulness, or at the very least one of misunderstanding. I am just continually told what I need to do and how they are giving me information they can, according to protocol, basically. They’ve also been contradicting in their own messages sent by mail or via email on their website. This is difficult for me as a rather straightforward person only interested in being able to do the right things in a timely manner, that ensure as much ease as possible in a challenging process. I guess I will just continue to ask in a manner that will be as kind as possible, for as long as I can do so ,and perhaps “slow but steady wins the race” (Aesop via BrainyQuote.com). Oh, and by the way, there are apparently several versions of this quote, and its potential authors too. Ironically, I seem unable to get a straight answer about anything this week.

Thankfully, God gives us answers without giving us the runaround. Even if he is letting us know somehow that we won’t have all the information right now, he does promise us that he has our best in mind, and he doesn’t ever intend to cause us harm. He also arms us for what we’re going to face with his written word and the Holy Spirit to help guide us and situations and people placed in our path to share in the journey he has for us. And the race we run for him, at the pace he’s set for us, knowing how he made us will always give us victory when we let him hand us the baton. We then pass the baton to others, and we give them an invaluable gift, the love of a Savior.

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. “(Romans 12:17-19 NIV)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,…” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV)

“my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24 NIV)

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All verses are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.