I think that it is safe to assume that most of us are familiar with the saying, “A hill worth dying on!” I am sure that the original figure of speech came from an application in physical battle. Today we use it in a more figurative sense to speak of the issues we are facing. It is easy to make what we think as something to go to the wrestling mat over, but is that really the case?
The rapid secularization of our culture is challenging many followers of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately we are not facing a single issue. The challenge that I see is that many of us have been backed into a corner where we believer every issue is a hill worth dying on, but is this really true? I understand the frustration with the moral drift that is happening all around us. I, too, am frustrated with the decisions that are being made at the Corporate and Government level. Yet, do all these issues require that I fight to the finish, win or lose?
It you are hoping that I will tell you what to do in these situations you are going to be a little disappointed. The reason is that I am not the Holy Spirit nor am I able to judge the Lord’s leading in your life. This is something that you need to work out with the Lord. But I do want to challenge our position that the situation must go my way.
This is where we need to let Biblical truth direct our lives. The Apostle Peter addresses a similar situation that existed between younger and older leaders in the church. Listen to his words to those that thought that their situation was a hill worth dying on to win. “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,” (1 Peter 5:5–6) We do not know the specifics of the situation we do get the general gist of the tension. One side, those that were younger, had an issue that they wanted to change. The danger was they were being driven by pride and ignoring the need for Christian character in this situation. I want you to notice that Peter does not say that the “older leaders” are right. I also need to point out that the issue was not a sin issue. Sin would need to be dealt with. Also Peter does not take sides. What he does do, however, is encourage them to put Biblical truth into action specifically in the area of respect for age.
I am afraid that too often we make the issue bigger than it really is. We try to make it a sin to justify our militancy. We also ignore what the Lord might be doing in the situation because we are stuck on what we believe is that solution. Peter’s solution is really two-fold, first is humility which is laying aside my rights and preferences for another. Second it is letting God be God. I am reminded of the Lord’s words to the nation of Israel living in captivity in Babylon (because of their sin). The Lord tells them in Jeremiah 29:4-7 to build houses and plant gardens and essentially to live life because the Lord has them there for a reason. He tells them to not fight the situation but, “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”(Jeremiah 29:7) The Lord is pointing out that this is not a hill worth dying on because the Lord is allowing it to happen.
It is then that the Lord reminds his people that they would come to know and grow in the Lord in this situation, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.” (Jeremiah 29:11–12)
I cannot tell you what God’s will is for your life. I do however want to encourage you to let God be God in your situations. Most of the issues that we want to die for are not really that important because God is in control!
If you need someone to bounce things off of, feel free to reach out to me.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson