My 12 year old son is about to earn his black belt in Taekwondo. I'm quite proud of him, and lately we've become fans of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighting, particularly the UFC octagon. For the uninitiated, UFC MMA fighting has exploded onto the sports scene as the most popular form of professional prize fighting. It is the ultimate display of unarmed man-to-man combat.
There is no such thing as throwing in the white towel during a UFC competition, and pretty much anything goes. Kickboxing, wrestling moves of all kinds, knees & elbows, and submission holds are all fair game. There are essentially two ways to win the fight while in the ring: knock out or tap out. If neither fighter has knocked out or submitted (tapped out) his opponent by the end of the fight, it goes to the judges for a decision.
Ultimate fighting is exciting but brutal. Good manners are not rewarded. Pummeling your opponent into the ground is the name of the game. I've started to wonder if my enthusiasm for ultimate fighting might be a vicarious representation of how I engage in spiritual warfare. Even more disturbing has been my discovery that I may have misidentified my opponent in the spiritual ultimate truth fighting octagon.
I'm designed by God as someone who is highly motivated by truth, and I have a burning desire to exhort others toward truth. Truth be told, other people are not the opponent. The enemy is the Father of Lies, and too often I misidentify the POWs in his prison camp as my opponent. These POWS need to be saved, not savagely attacked. They need liberation not libel. I'm too easily frustrated with how comfortable many POWs have become in their prision of lies. Sadly, I'm much too slow to apologize or even recognize when my zeal for apologetics offends or overwhelms a POW in the camp of lies.
Recently, I have been putting a choke hold on one of my best friends who is about ready to tap out. I've been blind to the truth myself in that my all out war against untruth was directed at him instead of our common Enemy. I've been meditating on the fruit of the spirit in order to redirect my battle. This has led me to a change of heart. In Ultimate Truth Fighting, the path to power and victory comes from ones own submission to Truth.
I pray God will give me the wisdom and skill to refocus my zeal on the real opponent so I can take the war to the proper battle front and fight the right opponent. The white towel of victory is nonsensical in worldly Ultimate Fighting, but in Ultimate Truth Fighting power is found through grace, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and even gentleness. I need to stop using so many knees and elbows on the spectators and POWs and save the submission moves for the real enemy.