What hill are you dying on?

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity!
Psalm 133:1

Our youngest son Samuel was thrilled when we signed him up for soccer. At seven years old, nothing screamed “cool” like a reversible soccer jersey. He wore that jersey the whole next week to school. As my youngest of four children, that wasn’t a hill that I was willing to die on. My oldest child Meghan would have never experienced a week-long fashion statement when she was seven. Mainly because I would never have let her. That was a hill I would have died on as a new mom.

In the grand scheme of things, wearing a soccer jersey for five days in a row, won’t stop of the axis of the earth’s rotation. It took me a few years to figure that one out. As a beginner-mom, I was ready to challenge anything that didn’t go along with what I thought a good parent would do. Battles were fought and won over bedtimes, wearing rain boots as slippers, having soda with dinner and dressing our dog in sun-dresses and floppy hats. However, with age has come a little bit of wisdom, and with almost seventeen years of mommy experience under my belt, I pick and choose my battles much more carefully now.

As a new believer, I didn’t choose my battles quite as wisely. Now, after years of walking as a Christian, I am much less willing to die on some of those spiritual battlefields. Don’t misunderstand me, I believe there are Biblical truths that aren’t to be compromised. What I don’t believe in, is preparing to go into battle with other Christians, period. If it’s not a salvation issue, then you won’t find me locked in verbal judo with another brother or sister in the Lord.

When my children are in a heated debate, snapping at one another, trying to get the last word, throwing in that final zinger and striving to get their last dig in, it’s far from pleasing to my ears. How much more so to the Lord, when He hears us debate and argue over the trivial? It makes me sad when I hear Christians debating over issues, that really, in God’s big picture, just aren’t worthy of a dramatic hill-death. Not to mention, this behavior sets a bad example for others who haven’t discovered the saving grace of Jesus Christ and are watching us for some hopeful answers. And, don’t underestimate the joy it brings to the enemy of our souls when we are preoccupied with making anyone in the body of Christ our adversaries.

I’ve witnessed quite a few Christian hot-topic debates. “Where were you baptized?” … “Are you a pre-trib or post-trib church” … “Were you dunked, or sprinkled?” … “Hymns are the truest form of worship.” … “I don’t believe there should be a guitar on stage.” … “I don’t believe there should be a stage!” Whether you are Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, or Episcopalian, if you have given your heart and surrendered your life to Jesus Christ, the one true and living God, we are all His children. Let’s focus on what we have in common and not what makes us different.

Friends, there is a God-sized plan for the body of Christ. We don’t have time for arguments or heated debates with one another, and we certainly shouldn’t be wasting our time dying on spiritual battlefields.

Remember, someone has already died on a hill for you and for me. His name was Jesus Christ, and that hill was Calvary.

7 Responses to What hill are you dying on?
  1. Tiffanie
    August 5, 2008 | 9:59 am


  2. George Martin Derieg
    August 5, 2008 | 1:16 pm

    That is probably one of the most intelligent things I’ve ever heard said about faith and Christianity. And I am as unbiased as they come. Kudos Joanne!!!

  3. Alane
    August 5, 2008 | 1:53 pm

    I say a big Amen to that! Seems like common sense but there are a lot of believers out there ready to do battle over the trivial.

  4. Melinda
    August 5, 2008 | 6:33 pm

    I really enjoyed this post and needed this message. I find that sometimes a few of my otherwise wonderful, kind Christian friends get a little crazy trying to prove me wrong about a Biblical passage or idea. Usually this has to do with something fairly minor that my church teaches differently than theirs. With so many denominations and practices in Christianity today, these differences are bound to crop up. How we handle them is so important, not only to our sanity but to our friendships as well. I am with you all the way. None of us are perfect and there are lots of things we’ll likely not understand until we stand face to face with the Lord, so there’s no point in fighting useless battles.

  5. genny
    August 5, 2008 | 7:50 pm

    I agree, Joanne! Thanks for the great reminder of what truly matters!

  6. Christi
    August 6, 2008 | 10:29 pm

    Amen, sister! I would love to share your words with a person or two I know….

  7. Denise
    August 7, 2008 | 1:29 am

    Bless you for sharing such a beautiful devotion.