Have you ever seen the movies with the guy boxing the air, throwing jabs at an invisible opponent? That’s exactly how it looks when someone is Shadowboxing. To me, it’s a natural reaction to laugh because it’s funny; getting tired and worn out from a fight with yourself…really?
I recently experienced a situation where a person just began speaking all kinds of negative things and lies about me behind my back, to anyone who would listen. Now, I know that I did nothing to warrant this behavior, so my initial reaction was anger. I didn’t say anything (I just had wrong thoughts). After I calmed down and prayed, I knew what I needed to do: Pray for this individual. It wasn’t what I wanted to do, but I did it. I was reminded of Saul before he became Paul. He was on a mission persecuting and killing Christians until that Damascus Road collision with God. That encounter altered the direction of his life. He went on to become one of the greatest Apostles in the Christian Faith (Acts 9). The truth of the matter is: There are some people who will have to persecute us, so they can have a Divine Encounter with God; but we must remain mindful that their fight is really not with us…
The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. Exodus 14:14 ESV
When you don’t fight back, your enemies are left with no other choice, except to resort to Shadowboxing. Now, they are fighting an imaginary opponent. They want to pick a fight with you, but you refuse to entertain them. We all know people like this. Shadowboxers exert all of their energy trying to make you look bad, but ultimately, it is they who look bad (mature people see right through their futile attempts). They have no real proof of anything you did to make them dislike you (because you did nothing).
“What should I do,” you ask? Pray for them because it’s obvious they need it. Keep your head up. Don’t come down. Don’t retaliate. You set and maintain the standard, regardless of what they do. Let them see Christ through YOU.
So, That Settles It. Their issue is not really with you, but they don’t know it. The darkness inside of them is trying to fight against the Light inside of you, but we all know it is the Light that extinguishes the darkness. Let them continue Shadowboxing. This battle belongs to the Lord! The great part about it is: If they surrender, then they too will win.
You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you. Deuteronomy 3:22 ESV