“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” ~ 1 Timothy 6:12
Boxing has historically been known as “the sweet science.”
It has this methodical confectionary name because the sport of boxing requires an immense amount of skill, tact, and methodical combination to achieve desired success.
Boxing has a variety of possible strikes that are assembled in various orders called “combos.” Not every strike is designed for the anticipated “knockout.” For instance, a light punch called a jab is intended to wear opponents out and open them up for bigger strike. Strikes to the body are designed to get opponents to drop their hands from their face, so that more punishment can be delivered.
Uppercuts disorientate opponents who lack a “strong chin” and typically end with a hook or an over hook to deliver the finishing blow.
I refuse to call ministry a sweet science too (this implies it is merely some kind of cold strategy); however, it does hold uncanny similarities to a primetime bout.
How you may ask?
Ministry hurts. It’s filled with disappointment. You see the lost and broken- Well… Lost and broken.
You get fatigued often and it feels like 12 rounds of a fight.
And although you always are looking for God to score a knockout, not every encounter is a knock out.
Persistently, you seek out the lost. Jab. Persistently, you open yourself up for teaching moments. Cross. Persistently, you get rejected as you invite. Uppercut. Oof. You get hit back with financial turmoil. But don’t worry, put your hands up, look to God in your corner and go back at it.
Till eventually, you see (or often don’t see) the fruit of your labor, and someone believes the Gospel and has salvation evermore. Lead hook.
Knockout (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
This is the work. Persistent hope in the conditioning of Christ’s Gospel, in the face of hard punches, we fight (Romans 5:3-4).
Every strike isn’t a knockout, but every action has the knockout in mind. Set it up and trust God’s plan. Whether it is salvation, spiritual growth, or even just a new friend.
God let our prayer be – “Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight” (Psalm 144:1).