“Stop being mean, bad-tempered, and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ.”
- Ephesians 4:31-32 (TLB)
Perhaps the saddest fatalities in any war are those caused by friendly fire. And perhaps the saddest hindrance to God growing us is also “friendly fire.” Sadly, there are times when wounds come from the very direction we didn’t expect. Wounds can come through negative words, gossip, and slander from those we thought were watching our back, not stabbing it!
Now I know we all probably think that we don’t really do any of this bad stuff. We aren’t bad people and we definitely wouldn’t intentionally plan to hurt those around us. But if we are really honest, we all have spoken little comments that undermine or put others down.
Wouldn’t it be great if we actually defended each other? What if in place of jealousy, offense, and snide comments we instead spoke words of life and prayed prayers of support? What if we believed in each other’s best intentions and focused on strengths rather than weaknesses?
Truth is, we need each other! When we lose sight of the true fight to which we are all called, the enemy can cause us to take fire at the very people we need alongside us! We cannot afford to lose any person because of so-called friendly fire; we must forgive one another so that we can fight together.
Maybe you’ve been the one who has initiated that friendly fire and can see the devastating effect it’s had on a companion in Christ. Let the Lord show you how wrong that is – repent, ask the wounded for forgiveness, and link together again to face the enemy side by side. Don’t do Satan’s work for him.
Jesus, I repent of the times I have been quick to judge, gossip, slander or criticize others. Do a work in my heart to help me put to death my human nature that is self-seeking, destructive and selfish. Help me to choose to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. Teach me to be just like you. Amen.