Fight Club: The Rules of Engagement – Part One

In his book, “Fight Club – Gospel-Centered Discipleship”, author Jonathan Dodson lists three “rules” for Fight Clubs.  I mentioned Fight Clubs, and Dodson’s book in a post earlier this year, but I’d like to return to it now, and in some subsequent posts.

Fight Clubs, for a quick recap, are “small, simple groups of 2-3 who meet regularly to help one another beat the flesh (our sin nature) and believe the promises of God”.  They are gender-specific in order to address gender-specific issues head-on.  They are not just a Bible Study, though there is a time and a place for that kind of group.

The three rules Dodson’s suggests for a successful Fight Club are:

  1. Know your sin
  2. Fight your sin
  3. Trust your Savior

I’m covering the first of these in this post, and will return to the other two in subsequent posts.

If you don’t know your opponent, then how can you fight him?  Knowing your sin is the first step in having a successful Fight Club.  What are the areas of your flesh that you are most prone to giving in to?  What circumstances give rise to the greatest potential for temptation in your life?  Dodson suggests diagnostic questions, such as:

  • Do you find yourself tempted to vanity or self-pity when lingering in front of the mirror?

  • Does sexual lust or despair creep in on late, lonely nights watching TV?

  • Are you prone to pride when you succeed or receive a compliment?

  • Are you easily angered in traffic or while waiting in line?

Not only must we know “what” our weak areas are, but we must also seek to discover “why” we gravitate to certain sins.  Why am I inclined to certain sins?  What do I believe they will do for me?  What lies and false promises am I falling victim to by giving in to temptation in a particular area.  In other words, what is the sin beneath the sin?  Don’t just look at the sin on the surface, but the sin underneath.  What is the lie we’re believing when we give in to certain sins?

The point of the Fight Club is that this must be done in the context of grace-filled, cross-centered relationships.  I need to sit down with 1 or 2 other guys and download with them about what I think are the sins that I am most prone to commit, and why I think I am prone to those certain sins.  I need to do this with other guys who know and love me, but who know and love Christ even more.  They won’t be able to pray for, encourage, or correct me, if they don’t know where it is that I am most likely to fall down.  In addition, downloading this in the context of a Fight Club will allow these other men to challenge my impressions of what I think are my weak areas, or perhaps challenge what I perceive to be the motivations behind my sins.

In this respect, a Fight Club serves as a mirror.  I may have a blemish on my face, and I need to do something about that blemish, but I don’t know exactly where it is unless I look in a mirror and actually see it.  I have sins that I am more prone to commit than others, and for the glory of God I need to address that….fight against those sins through faith in Jesus….but unless I expose my life to a mirror (i.e. my Fight Club), I won’t know exactly what those sins are, or why they are such a struggle for me.

I know that Fight Clubs are beginning to happen in our church.  It’s an underground thing…not a programmed ministry.  It’s not a BASE Group and it’s not a Bible Study.  It’s a relational, Gospel-centered, group of guys (or girls), who gather together to know our sin, fight our sin, and trust our Savior so that He might transform us into men (or women) who will glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Are you in one?  Do you want to be in one?  Do you have others who know your sins and fight with you against those sins?  Are you willing to “go there” with a couple of other folks in order to see real gospel-change in your life?

[NOTE – The above post is for fellow believers who recognize their own sin, and demonstrate a desire to kill that sin in them.  For tips on how to lovingly, graciously, and redemptively confront another believer who is in sin, check back in tomorrow for Joe McBee’s post.]

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