Faith as Blood Sport

sword-1078968_640If your father gave you a sword, the first thing he would teach you is to handle it with care.

Swords are sharp, he’d say, with a serious scowl. They’re sharp for a purpose and you’ll learn to use it for that purpose but you must respect the blade. Always respect the blade. Especially because it’s double-edged. Fail to respect the blade and you’re likely to hurt someone else with a swipe and yourself on the back swing.

As a child, you may defy him in a weak moment. Children always have to test the limits and you’d be tempted to see just how sharp the blade is. What can it cut? How much will it hurt? But most children learn quickly. One cut and you’d show proper caution going forward.

Once you matured, no one would need to remind you to respect the blade. You’d know your own sword as if it was an extension of your forearm. You’d have trained and practiced with it. You would have used it in battle. It would travel with you and rest with you. Your sword would be your essential possession. Your inheritance. Your connection with your father. Your defense against the enemy. Protection for your loved ones. You would never take it for granted.

Our culture is rife with immature children wielding their swords like blunt instruments and creating havoc and damage for everyone in their path.

Our Father has given us a powerful sword.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)

 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, Ephesians 6:16-17 (ESV)

He wants us to treasure it, practice with it, understand it, and train to handle it properly. It is for our defense against the evil one. It can slice through deception and darkness like a light saber. It is a believer’s essential weapon, our comfort, our connection with our Father.

But, we must respect the blade.

dart-663277_640Scripture isn’t meant to be a dart we toss at another for sport. Blog to blog aimed at this one’s argument or that one’s public stand. This hurts both the victim of the dart and the rest of the believing church on the back swing. It’s petty. It’s ugly. It’s like watching a married couple argue in public. It serves no one.

Scripture isn’t meant to be a club with which we pummel our enemies or to batter those who have fallen prey to the deception of the age. Imagine Luke Skywalker using a light-saber to batter an old woman who disagreed with his politics.

Certainly, healthy debate between well-matched swordsman is good training for both but it is accomplished with respect, self-control, and skill. It doesn’t look like a thug bludgeoning a victim in a dark alley.

These are challenging days. Challenging. Satan pumps deception into the atmosphere like an invisible gas. We need to proceed with courage and caution.

If one of us takes a stand based on our understanding of Scripture and lands in jail, the rest of us would be wise to take a beat before drawing our swords. Certainly, we should turn to them. Open God’s Word, study, pray, discuss with mature tones, and respect. Always, always, we should keep in mind that the one taking the stand is family.

Family sticks together. Who would ever want to join a family who tear into one another in public? Who would ever want to join a Love one to anotherfamily who beat one another up in front of their enemy? It’s been said by others but Jesus said they will know we are His disciples by our love, not because we out versed someone with Bible passages.

Our Father has given us a sword. We should be trained in it and know how to wield it skillfully and with grace. We must always respect the blade.

The enemy can incite people to throw us into the ring and cheer for us to fight but we don’t have to give them a show. Swordplay is only a sport in times of peace and we, loved ones, live in a time of war. Swordplay is serious business. Thumbs up or thumbs down from the stands, we are in the ring together. Our Father would never have us slice in one another with the weapon He crafted for our protection.

Our faith is not a blood sport. In these challenging days, let us conduct ourselves with honor, especially towards those in the family of Christ. Keep your sword with you at all times but always respect the blade.

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3 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Joyce says:

    WOW!! Marked this as “MUST READ” on my Facebook page!

  2. My new motto, RESPECT THE BLADE This has been my feeling exactly. Thank you for proclaiming it with such power. We all must remember that “Satan pumps deception into the atmosphere like an invisible gas. We need to proceed with courage and caution. ” We are called to love first.

  3. Jan says:

    Family sticks together. Who would ever want to join a family who tear into one another in public? Who would ever want to join a family who beat one another up in front of their enemy?

    Thank you, Lori, for always telling it like it is. We are living in times where eventually, we will all have to make a stand and the world will want to rip us to shreds for standing for truth. That’s normal, but it’s abnormal for the body of Christ to be at war with one another. Before we ever criticize a brother or sister in Christ, we ought to hit our knees on their behalf and then let God tell us if He has appointed us to say anything at all.