We are living in an increasingly violent and lawless world, where aggressors inflict distress and kill.
Know the value of what you are defending
basic physical moves so if you are attacked you can resist and temporarily incapacitate your assailant and escape. However, the wise assessment of the situation may indicate it is better to submit to rape or having property taken than unsuccessfully trying to defend yourself and being seriously injured or killed. We have better and more lasting ‘possessions’ than what evil people may take from us – life eternal (Heb 10:34). Jesus said we should not fear those who can only cause us harm in this life, but not affect our eternal destiny (Lk 12:5).
Jesus call us to pray for those who would cause us harm and persecute us, forgiving those who have sinned against us (Mt 6:14; Lk 6:28). Several times the Bible speaks of pacifism, which is the opposite to violence – responding in a gentle spirit and not doing as may have been done to us (Prov 25:21,22; Mt 5:38,39; Rom 12:17-21; 1 Pet 3:9). This approach fits scenarios that can be resolved or where our reputation is under attack (1 Cor 4:12; 1 Pet 2:23).
Be sure you are fighting the right battles
deliberate violence or revenge, not the spontaneous response when protecting what belongs to them, or to soldiers under orders, killing in the line of duty. When rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, in response to the threats of the enemy, Nehemiah instructed the people to ‘remember the Lord, and fight for what is precious to you’ (Neh 4:14-20). While their trust was in God, they also armed themselves for protection. Similarly, the focus of our trust should be in God for our safety, claiming, “The Lord is my refuge…in whom I trust…no harm will befall me…” but He also expects us to co-operate with Him and take practical measures and be prepared to defend ourselves if required (Ps 91:1-16).
Do not allow Satan access to your life, or those you are responsible for, as he will try to gain the advantage over the vulnerable – instead “Resist the devil and he will flee” (Jas 4:7; 1 Pet 5:8). As we utilize the spiritual armour we can withstand his attacks because no weapon used against us will be eternally effective as ours have divine power (Isa 54:17; 2 Cor 10:4; Eph 6:10-18).