Some people like starting fights. They like getting into arguments because they like arguing. I hope I don't come off that way because I don't perceive that to be my personality at all. When I was in college at Southern Wesleyan University, I had two very close friends. In a conflict or contest, I was happy if everyone just ended up getting along when it was all over. One of my other friends was content if he just got even.
My third friend needed to get ahead. He dated a girl who also loved to fight, and they just loved to argue with each other. The two got married, are still married and, I presume, are still arguing with each other for endless delight.
I believe that God can sanctify ambition and the drive to win. If God told Adam and Eve to take charge of the garden, then God can use those who are wired to come in first. Such people have to be careful, however, for God and Scripture are not exactly enthusiastic about the lust for power and domination. Rather, "the first will be last and the last will be first."
There was a line in the movie Jack Reacher that stood out to me. In the movie, Tom Cruise says that there are three types of people who sign up for the military. First there are the patriots who want to serve their country. Then there are those who see the military as a chance to make something of themselves and their lives. But a small, scary group likes the idea of being able to kill others with impunity.
Similarly, there are some who fight for God because they want to stop the oppression of others. Then there are some who sincerely believe God wants them to "stand up for what is right." But they truly hope that others will repent and that the world will become a more godly place.
Then there are the scary ones, the ones that use God as excuse to fight because they really like to run over others. They get off on the power and hide their lust under the cover of standing up for the truth. These are the kind that will turn on their own in a heartbeat if someone on their own side tries to speak truth into their lives. Could it be that those who shout the loudest about standing up for the truth are the most likely candidates for this category?
Remember the Crusades? How many of the kings who led the Crusades were really standing up for God? Could it be that most of those who started the Crusades were really just warmongers who enjoyed the idea of conquering some territory and killing some bad guys? The idea that they were fighting for God just gave them cover for their true motives.
The human capacity to deceive itself is astounding, including our capacity to take good and use it for bad. We can even do it with the Bible. Maybe we say we're conquering Jericho or purging the land of the godless.
But it's just as likely we're fooling ourselves. Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers." Jesus said, "Blessed are the meek." Jesus said, "Blessed are the merciful."
He didn't say, "Blessed are those who pick fights with those who disagree with you" or "Blessed are those who kick out those with the wrong perspective." There are others in the Bible who were more prone to kick people out of the synagogue for disagreeing.
The words of Jesus should haunt those of us who like to fight: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven."