So I was driving behind a car on the way home today, and they had a strange license plate placard that read “Fight Like a Man… Get On Your Knees and Pray”.
Now, I was kinda taken aback, which I’m sure is the point of the message. I googled it to make sure, and I’ve confirmed that the general gist of the message is that a real man prays, and having God on your side in any battle guarantees your victory. Further, the wisdom bestowed by God will let you know when you have to fight and when other options are available.
But I couldn’t help but think that most people take this the wrong way. I just got done reading “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge, and I consider this nothing short of a life changing book. The central theme of the book is that man is created in God’s image, and a central part of God is an adventurous spirit, a warrior’s spirit. Often, the modern church seems to focus on the meek side of Jesus’ spirit when it comes to training a man. We are reminded of Jesus talking about turning the other cheek, and “blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9). Yet we cannot forget that this was the same Jesus who physically threw the money changers out of the temple, the same Jesus who said that he came “not to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).
John Eldredge makes the point throughout “Wild at Heart” that to discover a man’s true soul is to embrace the innate adventurous, warrior spirit of man. I especially relate to this because when I gave up being a computer programmer and became a police officer, I discovered something strange. I love to fight, and I’m good at fighting. I have some talent for physical conflict, and it feels good to fight and win. What better way to use that talent than to protect the innocent, to put on the warrior’s armor and to take up the sword to uphold the law of the land? Orwell is attributed with saying “People sleep peacably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”. I came alive when I took up the sword and became one of those rough men.
So, to bring this full circle, I don’t argue the overall point of the license plate placard. But I wish that we (collectively) did not attempt to boil down important Biblical statements to license plate or bumper sticker slogans, because it does us all a disservice.
Or does it, since it forced me to think about and blog about its meaning. Hmmm…