‘How to Pick Your Battles’. Message Notes from Thrive Church MI on Feb. 18, 2018.


Message Notes    |    |

Slide # 1…Series Graphic + Jason Social Media Info

  • Doesn’t that video hit home for some? How hilarious!
  • Good Morning Thrive Church!! How are we doing today?
  • My name is Jason Raitz and I’m one of the Pastors here at Thrive! If this is your first time at Thrive, thank you so much for being here! I hope you’re experience is so good that you will decide to come back! And then back again and back again!
  • I hope you will fill out the Connect Card and if this is your first time, please stop by the info table and get a free gift and more info about Thrive.
  • If you’re joining us online, thanks for watching this message! And thanks for sharing it on your social media pages. It’s amazing how many people check out Thrive because of social media.

Prayer for Parkland, FL

  • Before we hop into the message. I just want to take a second and pause. Probably like you, I question why I have news updates set to my phone and when I received the update this week about Parkland, FL, my heart was crushed and broken.
  • I spent to many nights this week thinking about if this was my kids school. And, I shouldn’t have too. This sort of evil should not exist. But, we live in an evil world and it’s on us to be the Light of the World and the light of the cyber world.
  • Let’s stand together and pray for the families who lost children. Let’s pray for that community.


  • Ok, we are in week three of Haters…don’t read the comments. We’re looking at 4 Peacemaking Skills we have to employ if we’re going to diffuse the haters!


    • In the Bible, there is the contrast between the wise and the fool.
    • The fool is one who remains arrogantly in their ignorance. They will only hear what they want to hear, see what they want to see, and believe what they want to believe.
    • They do not listen to Wisdom. And, wisdom cannot be given out, only learned. To argue with someone who is stuck in a certain perception becomes a battle of will.


  • Peacemakers don’t play by the rules of a hater.
  • They know how to discern if an argument will result in peace.
  • Peacemaking skill # 3…Learn how to pick your battles.


  • Have you ever argued with a fool? If you have, you know you will just go round and round and around.
  • What do you think of when you think of a fool? I think of this guy saying…

Slide # 2…Picture of Mr. T saying…I pity the foo

  • Mr T! Yeah. Do you know where this came from? Rocky 3. Someone asked his character if he hated Rocky and he said…I don’t hate Rocky Balboa, I pity the fool.
  • Do you know know any fools in your life?
  • Would anyone say you’re a fool?
  • Do you know how a fool lives? They live thinking insanity is awesome. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
  • I love what this Proverb says…

Slide # 3…‘Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse; all they do is run off at the mouth’ ~Proverbs 18:2 (msg)

  • You and I are going to come across many fools in our time on this planet. People who just want to run their mouth. At work. At school. At home. In our neighborhoods. At our Church!
  • Last Sunday, I spoke on Listening at Thrive CA and I used this quote by John Ortberg. ‘You can’t listen in a hurry’. So many people just want to talk, talk, talk and not listen. That’s a fool.
  • I also used this quote…
  • “Listening can be a greater service than speaking.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • And, when we try to argue face to face or online with a fool, it goes nowhere! So, why do we do it.
  • We’re also going to meet people that legitimately think that their every idea should be listened too and not just listened too, but treated like law.
  • Sorry mom and dads if you brought your kids in the room, but I love this quote by the amazing author Brene Brown…

Slide # 4…Don’t try to win over haters, you are not a Jackass whisperer. -Brene Brown

  • How true is that?
  • Sometimes we need to learn the wisdom of picking our battles instead of arguing with a fool. Sometimes instead of the constant bickering or the back and forth on facebook or over text, we just need to learn how to pick our battles.
  • Because here’s the deal, there are some battles that we need to win! There are moments in our lives where we need to stand up for the truth. We need to stand up for love.
  • There are some moments where we need to speak the Truth in Love and not shy away from it.

Story: Jason and his words

  • Sometimes I let my words get the best of me! Anybody relate?
  • For the longest time, I just couldn’t control my words. I said what was literally on my mind. Some of you are thinking, wow, not much has changed.
  • But, honestly, it really has.
  • I have hurt a lot of people over the years. I have this gift/tool/weapon called Sarcasm.
  • And, I struggle with saying inappropriate things are hilarious to me! You probably know this. But, again, what gets said here is so clean and nice sometimes.
  • We once had a group of friends over about 10 years ago and I was just being me and everyone was laughing. Then, some words came out of my mouth that were so not funny about someone else and their struggles.
  • That person was there and I looked at them as I said it and I knew it was not funny!
  • Later the person came up to me and immediately I knew they were going to let me know they were offended and immediately the walls of defense started to build in my heart. Even though I knew I was wrong!
  • As I was studying for this message, I always use my NIV, Life application bible. This bible is my go to reading bible and Sunday bible, but my big one is my go to.
  • In the back, there are notes from 12/30/01 and here’s what it says…
  • ‘I resolve to keep a close ear on the words I use, and to make sure my words bring healing, joy and don’t pierce.


  • How do we pick our battles?


  • How do we get to the point that I don’t always have to be offended every time I feel left out. Or excluded.
  • So, to do that, I want us to look at the life of David in 1 Samuel 24.

Slide # 5…Lessons from David on Picking Your Battles [1 Samuel 24:1-22]

  • Quick look at the life of David
  • Some people think of David as a shepherd, a poet, a giant killer, a king, an ancestor of Jesus. In short, he was one of the greatest men in the OT.
  • But, alongside of that list, he was also a betrayer, a lair, an adulterer, a murderer and a bad dad.
  • The Bible makes no efforts to hide David’s failures. Yet he is remembered and respected for his heart for God.
  • David, more than anything else, had an unchangeable belief in the faithful and forgiving nature of God. He was a man who lived with great zest. He sinned many times, but was quick to confess.
  • He was called in scripture…a man after God’s own heart.
  • No one thought he would become king, but God had other plans.
  • So, let’s look at 1 Samuel
  • Oh really quick, let me make sure you know what’s happening in this story
  • Israel wanted a King. God said Ok. Samuel the prophet anointed Saul to be king. From the outside, he looked like a King. Tall, strong. Inside, he was messed up.
  • Israel were fighting the philistines and David brought lunch to his brothers and he was righteously angry that this guy named Goliath was mocking Israel.
  • He got all riled up and asked if he could fight the giant, anyways, he did and won! That got Saul’s attention. He would play music for the King. He became best friends with Saul’s son, Jonathan.
  • Saul became very jealous of David and it moved from bad to horrible and Saul tried to kill David.
  • It got worse when the same prophet anointed David to be the next king.
  • Ok, to 1 Samuel 24 and where Saul has taken 3000 men to go find David and his men and kill him.

Slide # 6…1 Samuel 24: 3-4

He (King Saul) came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men (about 600) were far back in the cave.

[How crazy is that!!! Saul picks the cave that David and his men are hiding in?]

4 The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said[a] to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. [How nuts is that? David got close enough to cut off a piece of his robe]

**Ok, you were given a piece of fabric when you came in, pull that out, please.

  • The first lesson from David in picking our battles

Slide # 7…ONE…Don’t give in to the chatter of fools

  • How easy is it at times to listen to all the voices around us? We don’t know what to do, we ask the people closest to us.
  • Ok, can I confess something?? I probably shouldn’t. But, there are so many things I love about facebook.
  • LIKE…that its one of the greatest tools for the Gospel ever! I really believe Jesus Followers are called to be a Light of the Word, like Jesus said, and to be a Light of the Cyber World!
  • But, there is so many things I just hate.
  • Like, when people put those posts out there. That are so personal and they’re looking for deep intimate advice from people on facebook???
  • Or, when people say, anybody know what time the bakery opens? Really! Just google it for pete’s sake! Ok, that is just my pet peeve!
  • But, we do go to our friends and sometimes, our friends will lead us astray like David’s men did.
  • They wanted him to just go kill the King. How easy would it have been. I mean, Saul has 3000 men hunting David down.
  • But because, Saul is the king, David won’t do it.
  • Proverbs 16:28 says…

Slide # 8…A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.-Proverbs 16:28

  • Thomas Edison said this about his friends…

Slide # 9…‘I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world’.-Thomas A. Edison

    • It is so valuable for you and I to have the right people in our lives. To pick the friends who have the same values as us.
    • So many times over the last 22 years of being a Pastor, probably one of the most common conversations I’ve ever had was with someone who just broke up, mainly women, and they started to date, fell in love with someone who had a different set of values for God and His Kingdom.
    • They thought, oh, he’ll change. He will see Jesus in me and he’ll change. And, from my experience, 95% of the time, he doesn’t change. Probably why the apostle Paul gave us some advice on that matter, to protect our hearts.
    • Or, with folks who trusted in Jesus and God is changing them and their friends don’t like their changes and they just give them heck for it.


  • Those closest to us, will influence us in powerful ways!


  • Want to pick your battles wisely, don’t listen to a fools chatter!
  • And then…

Slide # 10…TWO…Honor those above, next and below you.

  • Look at what happened to David…

Slide # 11…1 Samuel 24:5-7

5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe.6 He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.”7 With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.

  • How nuts is that! David had a great respect for Saul, His King. Even though Saul was trying to kill him! Even though Saul was sinning against God and David, David still respected the position he held as God’s anointed King.
  • David knew one day he would be king and he also knew it was not right to strike down the man God had placed on the throne.
  • Peter put it this way in 1 Peter..

Slide # 12…1 Peter 2:13-21 (msg) ‘Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level’.

Story: Scott Moore

  • Every single Sunday I see Scott Moore, he gives me a huge hug and says, I’ve been praying for you Pastor.
  • I mean, this man treats me with so much respect and honor its unreal!

Story: Jason being disrespectful in Church as a kid

  • It’s like how my dad taught me to honor my Pastor when I was 13 years old. I wasn’t exactly honoring my Pastor at 13 during a sermon and I was screwing off with my friends. And, my dad quietly walked up to me in the pew, asked me calmly if I could join him in the lobby and then with no one around.
  • He looked at me and said…You will never disrespect my Pastor again. He is a man of God and you do not behave this way.
  • Whew! Talk about Fear of God being put into me!


  • I’m one of the few Pastors who don’t go by Pastor here, you are more than welcome to call me Pastor.
  • But, this is more than a job to me. It’s a calling. I’ve had many jobs. When you know you’re in the seat that God designed for you to be in, your job becomes a calling as well.
  • Being a Pastor brings with it an incredible responsibility. A unbelievable weight.
  • Because of that, when we as a Church disrespect each other and we don’t honor each other, our Church cannot move forward.
  • I ask us all, let’s do everything we can to honor each other!
  • That’s why David felt so bad. Take out that piece of fabric.
  • In those days, a man’s robe symbolized his greatness.
  • David cut off the corner of Saul’s robe and it symbolically demonstrated that the king’s authority would be cut off. This is seen in Saul’s response:

And now I know indeed that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand

  • So, we gave you each a little piece of fabric today to serve as a reminder to honor each other. Honor your bosses. Honor your spouses, girlfriends and boyfriends. Honor your kids.
  • Instead of cutting off a little bit of their authority or bringing them down to earth, use that piece of fabric as a reminder that you don’t have to do those things!!
  • Last lesson in picking our battles…

Slide # 13…THREE…Use Integrity as your weapon

Slide # 14…1 Samuel 24: 8-12

8 Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. 9 He said to Saul, “Why do you listen when men say, ‘David is bent on harming you’? 10 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the Lord’s anointed.’11 See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. See that there is nothing in my hand to indicate that I am guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. 12 May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.

  • I love this quote by Andy Stanley

Slide # 15…Are you fighting to win the argument or are you fighting to win the heart? -Andy Stanley

  • Proverbs 26:4-5 says

Slide # 16…Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. ~Proverbs 26:4-5

  • Ask yourself this question…What’s the wise thing to do?
  • When you practice Meekness (quiet and confident strength) by choosing your battles, you gain strength, authority, favor.
  • Just being someone who has to be heard and has to have every agree with everyone of their thoughts, you’re not going to get far with peace making.

VIDEO: let’s finish the video we started with a look at picking your battles

Slide # 17…Challenge: Be a Peacemaker by picking your battles wisely

Slide # 18…Shoe Project Update Slide

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