Fight the Good Fight
By Dianne Matthews
-- Mike Tyson's boxing match was on this day in 1986, when he defeated Marvis Frazier in just thirty seconds.
Tyson had become the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history at age twenty. He was undefeated in thirty-seven consecutive fights until he lost the championship to Buster Douglas in 1990.
Tyson served three years in prison for a rape charge from 1992 to 1995, and then he returned to boxing.
In his 1997 match with Evander Holyfield, Tyson was disqualified for biting and mutilating Holyfield's ear. He was fined $2,980,000, and his license was suspended.
Tyson resumed his career in 1999 but returned to jail for four months after he assaulted two people following a car accident.
Paul sometimes used the images of the athletic contests at the Grecian Games to illustrate the Christian life. In his first letter to Timothy, he urged the young pastor to "fight the good fight" (1Timothy 6:12).
The believer lives a life of ongoing conflict, both physical and spiritual. We are engaged in the most noble fight of all -- the cause of Christ. Paul urged Timothy to give his best in this struggle.
In a later letter, Paul looked back over his own life and said, "I have fought the good fight ... I have remained faithful" (2 Timothy 4:7). Paul had lived a life of integrity and commitment to God's Word and work. He looked forward to receiving the prize the Lord had for him.
As we fight our own battles for the faith, we must be careful to not disqualify our witness by doing something to disgrace the name of Christ. And we must keep on fighting. A match with God's enemies may last only thirty seconds or many rounds, but we know who will be knocked out in the end.
1 Timothy 6:12 says,
"Fight the good fight for the true faith." (NIV)
In what ways are you fighting the good fight for the faith?
This Devotion is taken from The One Year On This Day Devotion.
(Tyndale House Publishers)
© 2005 Dianne Neal Matthews
Dianne Neal Matthews’ publishing credits include magazine articles, Devotions, and newspaper features. Her work has won several awards, including the 2006 Writer of the Year Award at the Write-to-Publish Conference in Wheaton, Illinois. She and her husband, Richard, have been married thirty-two years and have three grown children and one granddaughter. Dianne is currently working on The One Year Women of the Bible Devotion scheduled for release by Tyndale in August 2007.
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