Do you ever feel provoked by the claims of one group or another against the person or “side” that you support? Or have you ever felt very strongly about an issue, even with your own family, and you want to give the other person both barrels of your opinion/your set of facts?
https://vatucson.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/christophers-corner.jpg 337 450 Veritas Academy of Tucson https://vatucson.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Logo-transparent-header-1.png Veritas Academy of Tucson2021-03-01 13:49:072021-03-01 13:49:07The Weapons of Our Warfare
Even more important, do you bring out both guns a-blazin’ with your children? Perhaps you were triggered by the foolishness of their thinking or the disrespect laced within their reply to you? I have a friend who still has not seen his son since the early ’90s when the two got into a huge argument that got out of control.
How can we keep this from happening? Perhaps we can take a page from David’s playbook when he went up against Goliath. And we can learn some key principles regarding conflict from the New Testament.
David vs. Goliath: When David arrived on the scene to bring lunch to his brothers, he caught sight of this giant all decked out in huge weapons — a spear whose tip weighed 16 pounds! A bronze coat of mail weighing nearly 92 lbs. and a bronze helmet and shin guards, and his sword that weighed 7 times a normal man’s sword. The reaction of the Israelites — FEAR! David, however, was indignant for the sake of the Lord and he was ready to rumble.
King Saul tried to get David to fight with his weapons and in his armor, but David shrugged them off. He chose to go out against Goliath with his trusty shepherd staff, his sling and five smooth stones pulled out of the brook nearby. He also went out clothed with the name of the Lord God. The face off was laughable to the Philistine giant. But the laugh was on him when this skinny kid knocked him down with one blow from the rock and then David chopped off his head with the giant’s own sword!
David was not relying on strength, but the power of the Living God.
With what are you arming yourself? Do you read book after book, study talking points, listen to podcasts so that you are loaded for bear? God recommends that we take another approach:
Know your enemy “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 Satan is at the bottom of all bitterness, fear and anger. He is the one egging us into a battle that goes too far and destroys relationships. Take a moment. See the person you are talking with and arguing against. Remember what that person means to you and to his/her Creator God who knit this one together in the womb and shaped this one in the image of God.
Know your weapons David could not use Saul’s weapons and armor. They did not fit him. In the same way, the tactics of this world don’t fit us: ridicule and mocking, humiliating and embarrassing another, forcing someone to admit his/her own ignorance, bullying and coercion, etc. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) The Apostle Paul argued for the use of grace and love and demonstrated the power of reason and logic without engaging in name calling.
Know your approach “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26)
Boy, this verse hit me hard when I first read it. And it took a number of readings to get me to switch tactics. I think I was born quarrelsome. But, we are the Lord’s servant. And He has a different approach. Get rid of resentment. Ouch, not easy to do. Christians have been mocked and misjudged, characterized as narrow-minded bigots just for sticking to the Bible and not agreeing with another person’s point of view. It is hard not to resent this labeling. But God commands us to let that go and instead be kind & gently instruct. Remember: A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
Getting my opponent to change his/her mind is not my job! Notice that — we hope that God will grant my opponents repentance, God will lead them to the knowledge of the truth, God will cause them to come to their senses, and God will rescue them from the trap of the devil. this highlights the earlier truth: The non-Christian is not the enemy, he is the victim of the enemy.
Look at that list. I cannot make those things happen, any more than the shepherd boy could kill a giant. David said, “The Lord will deliver you into my hand… that all will know that the Lord saves noit with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s.”
Lay down the worldly weapons that injure the spirit and fail to change anyone’s heart or thinking. Pick up God’s simple weapons and watch Him work. Trusting God for the victory, Christopher