Thursday, February 5, 2015

Battles Worth Fighting

Working at the pre-school, there's a question the teacher and I ask fairly often.

"Is this the hill you're going to die on?"

When you are in a classroom filled with kids ages 2-5 all with their own unique needs and skills and abilities, several parents who each have their own opinions and parenting styles, and a school board who also have their thoughts about how things should go, there are a lot of uphill battles. If we (or especially the teacher herself) were to fight every single battle she would have quit years ago. There is no way she can fight every single battle. 

It's a lesson I learned in ministry too. Working in a fairly large church with over 80 families in the congregation with youth between the grades 6 and 12, there's a lot of directions you can take. There were things sometimes I wanted changed but when I took a step back and looked at the bigger picture, I would have to say to myself "Don't fight that battle Emily. There are bigger ones you might need to fight later." 

I look around at the Church, and the world, and I can't help but think sometimes: "This is the hill you're going to die on? Really?"

You know those hills. The ones where we debate if yoga pants are "appropriate" for girls and women to wear.  Or having a personal vendetta against Disney movies and raving about it on Facebook. Or any other number of things. 

Is this the hill you're going to die on?

It's so easy to get caught up in though. I can't help but think about how often I get caught up in something that is truly pointless. I'm not just talking about wasting a weekend watching Supernatural on Netflix. (I don't see that as a waste of my weekend, thank you very much.) I'm talking about stupid arguments I know I shouldn't step up to and waste my breath on. The little nit-picky things I decide to focus on that don't really matter. Those things.

We can do better than this.  There are other things we can be spending our time and energy on.

Yes, this is the mountain in New Zealand they used as Mt. Doom in Lord of the
. I thought it would be appropriate.
Is helping people understand lust and sexuality something you're really passionate about? That's great! We need to have those conversations. But telling girls they can't wear yoga pants or leggings isn't the way to go about it. Do you know what is?

Telling our kids and teenagers to respect people no matter their gender, how they are dressed, the color of their skin, what country they come from, what school they go to, or what neighborhood they live in, etc. (Here's what Jesus has to say about lust, actually.) In fact - teaching them these things will help with A WHOLE LOT of other problems too.

Another way to handle it? Give them a safe environment where they can talk and ask questions about sexuality without fear of judgement.  

Don't like Disney movies? Well... don't watch them, don't put down people who do, and make your own art the way you want to.

There are so many other things in the world which deserve our focus. Honestly, when it comes to the Church, I feel like what girls are wearing should be the last thing on our list of things to focus on. When I think of everything the Church should be standing for, telling people what they should and should not wear isn't one of them. 

What is the church really about? Love, grace, forgiveness, healing the broken, helping the poor, widowed, and orphaned, standing for justice.... the list goes on an on.

I'm not saying we need to stand at every single protest in the world. (Although if that's how you chose to stand up for those things - that's awesome!) But I am saying there are hills worth dying on and those are the ones we should focus on. It doesn't even have to be dying on a hill for crying out loud!

Yesterday, a friend of mine posted a video of her telling a story about her husband. It was snowing and a winter storm was coming, and while she and her husband were out they saw the girl in the car next to them was having a hard time getting the snow and ice off of her car. So, he got out of the car and helped her out. 

Or, sending a free Valentine to a kid in the hospital.  Because being sick or hurting in the hospital, no matter what time of year it is, really stinks. Especially when you're a kid and you just want to go build a snowman or go sledding.

Or splurging an extra couple bucks at Starbucks one day to get a tea for your co-worker who isn't feeling well but has to be at work anyway. 

Let's stop picking hills which aren't worth dying on. 



    Love, love, love love love.

  2. Love love LOOOOOOOVE this! Well said! I love how you phrased "is this really the hill you're going to die on?" great way to think of it before you fight a battle!

  3. These are words I needed today. I was slammed with some sticky situations this week, and I needed to sort out what's worth standing up for and what isn't...but of course my first reaction is to take everything personally and freak out about it all. Thanks for the reminder of the bigger picture here.

    1. I needed it too. I can't tell you how many times we had to say this through the morning!


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