Behind the Battle Lines

February 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Jennifer Slattery –

A few summers ago, our family spent a week in Branson. While there, we met a woman passionate about the life movement and we engaged in conversation. She told me a story of a pregnant girl she reached out to her. One day, she spoke with the girl’s single, impoverished father who asked her, “Are you going to be here to help pay the expenses once the baby’s born?”
What he was asking was, “Do you really care, or are we just an agenda, just a battle to fight? Will you, so focused on speaking truth, walk with us when we put action to your words?”

This stuck with me, and is something I ask myself every time I’m tempted to engage in a battle. And there’s plenty of battles to fight, aren’t there? If we want to, we can spin from one to the next, Bible thumping every unsuspecting passerby hard enough to leave them dazed … and enraged.

At Easter, we’ll fight the Easter Bunny. Come Christmas we’ll write articles, boycott stores, and give long-winded sermons fighting for the phrase, “Merry Christmas.” Then we’ll grab our picket signs and line every street corner in protest of abortion.

Oh, how easy it is to hold a picket sign for an hour or two. It’s much harder to become actively and consistently involved in a young girl’s life.

Here’s the thing, while we’re drawing battle lines, people are dying. And seeing a “Merry Christmas” or an “abortion is murder” sign isn’t going to save them. In fact, I often wonder if most often our long-winded debates fall on deaf ears because it is impossible, yep, impossible, for man to understand spiritual things apart from Christ (1 Cor. 2:14). There’s only one way to change societies, and that’s by changing hearts. And there’s only one way to change hearts, and that’s by bringing them to the cross.

Let me explain it another way. Or, better yet, read how the Bible explains it:

Romans 1:21-28
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

You see, absence of God leads to depraved thinking. Many of the battles we fight are the result of depraved minds—deceived thinking. So how do you fight a depraved mind? You don’t. You introduce the depraved mind to Jesus and let Him change them from the inside out.
Think about it for a moment. What if every dollar and hour we spent on picket signs and protests we spent on outreach, instead? One-on-one, demonstrating, relationally, the love of Christ? How many lives would be changed? How many souls would be saved? And once those depraved minds were transformed by the love of Christ, how many issues would there be to fight. Folks, what if we’re merely chasing fires? Instead of fighting fires, would it not be more effective to start making people fire proof?

Now, I’m not saying never speak truth, but I am saying never let your truth mask your love. The next time you’re ready to fight a battle, before you enter into that debate, ask yourself, “Would I die for this person? Am I ready to stand by them and to walk with them?”

Jesus answered both questions with a resounding yes. A yes that drove Him to the cross.
I believe He wants us to offer the world the same answer, because truth without committed and consistent love is painful, destructive.


About Jennifer Slattery

Jennifer Slattery writes for Christ to the World Ministries, Reflections in Hindsight and Samie Sisters and reviews for Novel Reviews. She's also written for Granola Bar Devotion, The Breakthrough Intercessor, Afictionado, The Christian Fiction Online Magazine and functions as the Marketing Representative for the literary website, Clash of the Titles. You can find out more about her and her writing at her devotional blog,
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4 Responses to “Behind the Battle Lines”
  1. Dawn Wilson says:

    Jennifer, your article grasps, I think, the key missing element in so much Christian ministry. Thanks for speaking truth succinctly and with compassion.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Dawn. 🙂

  3. Hally Franz says:

    Jennifer, thanks for offering a challenge to act on our convictions beyond giving advice or opinions that fail to offer any real help.

  4. DiAne Gates says:

    Jennifer you have spoken to the heart of the matter. Well said. As long as we’re in a stew about anything we have accomplished nothing of eternal value. Relationships aren’t developed when we’re carrying signs and demonstrating. Relationships don’t grow when we’re yelling at each other. Relationships are the heart of the matter. First of all a relationship with our Lord Jesus that radiates out to relationships with others,hoping they will want what we have in Him. The problem is, it’s hard to tell Christians from the rest of the world.

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