Why we fight
If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
- Galatians 5:15
Why do we "bite" and "devour" each other? These vivid words for human conflict tell us something significant about why we fight. They're words of cannibalism and consumption. They're violent. And although they don't describe every conflict, they pull back the curtain on why we fight.
Here are two reasons we fight ...
First, we fight out of a triumphalist desire to achieve, conquer, acquire and advance our own agenda. We scrap in order to win. We'd rather be the predator than the prey. But, honestly, talking about ourselves in this way feels wrong, dehumanizing. We don't want to be this way.
The second reason we fight has to do with survival. We fight defensively. We tug back and forth over scarce resources. We turn to verbal cannibalism because we can't see any other way for us to make it through whatever mess we've landed in.
Do you see either of these patterns in yourself? Are you a triumphalist or a survivalist? How does that shape the way you engage in conflict?