When my alarm goes off in the morning I do not spring out of bed with enthusiasm, rather, I feel more hatred toward that obnoxious, patronizing sound than any other sound in existence. There is a literal battle that goes on within myself that looks something like this: “Just another 5 minutes.” “No! You have to get up!” “But I can totally get ready in 20 minutes.” “No you can’t.” “I totally can, I’ll just hurry.”
Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot, in fact, get ready in 20 minutes. Somehow in the early morning hours, when I am only half coherent, I can convince myself that speedily getting ready is a reality and I lose that battle with myself yet again. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. My boyfriend Steve always says, “It’s all about winning the little battles with yourself that will make a difference down the road.” He’s a pretty wise dude I’ve discovered.
As those words have rung in my ears I’ve been asking myself, “What are the little battles that I consistently seem to lose with myself that I try to justify as no big deal? What are the little compromises I make when no one is looking?” Who we are when no one is looking is just as important as who we are when someone is looking. It actually may be more important, because the habits we have in secret eventually affect our lives in a big way outwardly. We can only keep a lid on it for so long.
As a Christian, I would say that the loss of these little battles is due to sin in my life. Ooooo I know. Sin seems like a big bad scary word, but the Greek word for sin is defined as “missing the mark” and I often miss the mark when I’m lazy, or selfish, or >insert struggle here<, etc. We all miss the mark at times, that’s where grace comes in.
Recently, I listened to a pastor speak about Solomon. If you don’t know the story of Solomon, he was the king of Israel and he was famous for his wisdom and riches. He was a guy who had everything and God blessed him big time, but throughout his life he made all sorts of little compromises that didn’t seem like a huge deal. But slowly, with every little compromise, his heart drifted from God and the kingdom of Israel was torn apart because of it. The moral of the story is that seemingly minor decisions can have major consequences.
That may seem like a downer, but the good news is that we have the opportunity to win those little battles and learn from past mistakes. Obviously we’re never going to win every single battle, but it’s a good reminder of what we’re battling for. Remembering that we have a lot of years ahead of us and it’s winning the majority of the little battles that equal winning the war. I lose sight of this a lot, but I am thankful that God faithfully helps me one little battle at a time.