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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Oxymoron of the Day; Friendly Fire


I have learned through my years something which probably won't come as any great revelation to you. I don't share it here because I expect it is, but sometimes I think we forget this truth, and it's worth remembering.

A sure fire barometer for me that I'm zeroing in on spiritual significance and being in the center of God's will is sniper fire from the enemy. Snipers tend to choose spots in strategic locations, and are adept at concealing their position through camouflage. Most people hit by sniper fire never knew what hit them, or from which direction it came.

I take it as a good sign that bullets are flying my way because it tells me that I'm a threat. If I'm no threat, the enemy will simply let me wander aimlessly without a peep. Why risk getting me upset at the enemy and getting back on track when my course is so off that I'm doing him a favor as it is.

In the past week or so, I've found myself blindsided a couple different times. The interesting thing is, it has been by people I never would have expected.

Camouflage.

The enemy knows exactly where I'm vulnerable. I'm not going to be swayed by drugs. I'm not going to be swayed by gambling. Where I'm vulnerable is in the area of relationships. Any kind of relationships. I hate broken relationships. Misunderstandings and hurt feelings rip me up. I can hardly focus on the tasks before me when there is friction with someone I care about. And with that goes reputation. One misunderstanding that gets spread around by gossip can absolutely devastate a reputation and credibility.

I had a conversation just last week with a new friend of mine. Within the last year, his world has been rocked by betrayal in the most significant relationship two people can have. Through this, some of his other relationships took a serious hit because people didn't want to get in the middle, or they perceived there were bigger issues than they were equipped to handle...or whatever their reasoning was. In the meantime, lives were damaged, and relationships injured almost to the point of being irreconcilable.

It's sad that people turn against others with whom they had previously been so close. I've never been married, so I can't speak from personal experience, but I have seen so many divorcees whose exes have gone so far out of their way to make life miserable for their former spouses. Whether it's withholding financial obligations, fighting over material possessions, custody, or just any other trump card one holds over the other. I've never been able to wrap my brain around that, and I don't expect I ever will.

I am so thankful for the series we're currently going through in the Man Cave. Just this week, Gary laid out five actions within the Man Cave:
  • We don't bury our wounded in the Man Cave (Galatians 6:1)
  • We don't ignore, but carry one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2)
  • We never make it all about us in the Man Cave (Galatians 6:3)
  • We never judge another in the Man Cave (Galations 6:4)
  • We do all the work in the Man Cave (Galatians 6:5)
One particular quote from last Wednesday night's message that has stuck with me was the following:

"We don't stab each other in the back in the Man Cave. We have each other's backs!"

I have to tell you, that is a comforting thought. I don't expect that 100% of the guys will be perfect on these issues, but the standard has been set. Not by any man, but by God. None of us are perfect, and none of us can cast the first stone. Each of us have needed grace in our lives, and just as much, we need to extend it.

There is no such thing as "friendly fire" in the church.

update: I want to be sure it's clear that the two things I referred to this week as being "blindsided" are all resolved with some direct communication. All is well. It was just unneeded drama that was taken care of my much-needed communication.


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