Satan’s goal is to tear the body of Christ apart—to get us to turn our weapons against one another instead of working together to face the real problem. As believers, we are all part of God’s Kingdom and have the same enemy, but too often, we waste our time attacking each other!
In war, it’s called friendly fire, and we have all been guilty of it.
Are You Guilty of Friendly Fire?
Too many believers spend time debating and attacking each other over small things—political arguments, whether the world is flat or round, post-rapture versus pre-rapture, how a church responds to a certain situation, and the list goes on… Most of the issues we attack each other over have little to no bearing on how we actually live our lives or our salvation.
Sometimes we criticize and judge other believers for their shortcomings. We think that if we can do it, they should be able to do it, too, or we judge them for their struggles and think we are higher than they are.
Matthew 7:3-5 say,
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
We have to stop and ask ourselves, “Am I quick to give people the benefit of the doubt, or do I assume the worst? Do I engage in friendly fire?”
I have had many moments when I felt overwhelmed, stressed, or tired, and I misdirected my frustrations at someone I loved instead of at the problem.
It’s easy to look for the faults in others to justify our faults. The reality is that no one is perfect. When we sit around pointing out each other’s flaws, it hurts everybody—including ourselves. Operating in judgment causes us to miss opportunities and shortcuts God’s instruction in our lives!
As Jesus told a group of men who wanted to stone a woman committing adultery, “If any of you is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s standard of righteousness. Jesus said if we can’t forgive others, then we can’t be forgiven ourselves!
When we remember everything Christ has forgiven us for, how can we judge anyone else?
Changing Your Perspective
Philippians 2:3 encourages us to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
Love isn’t just how we TREAT people; it’s how we choose to SEE people!
Love looks for the best in others. If we value and love the people around us, we should give them the benefit of the doubt and trust God to judge their actions and motives.
It’s easy for us to draw wrong conclusions based on our limited information. God is the only One who knows the full story, so we should leave the role of judgment in His trustworthy hands.
Too often, we judge other people by their actions while we judge ourselves by our intentions.
Instead, leave the judging to God, and focus on making good decisions for yourself. Speak the truth with love, but be careful not to condemn others who are making poor decisions. The easy way to tell the difference? Speaking the truth with love always gives them a path of hope—a course for redemption—but when we condemn someone, we sentence them to judgment.
The Real Battle
There will be times when we hear rumors about people that aren’t true, and there will be times when we hear disheartening stories about people that are true. Either way, we have to keep our perspective on our real assignment, and that’s to love people.
When we feel vulnerable, overwhelmed, or guilty, it’s easy to go into attack mode. We have to remember our battle isn’t against flesh and blood. We have to keep our eyes on our mission!
Ephesians 4:29 urges us,
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
No matter what “bait” Satan puts in front of you, don’t let him trick you into friendly fire! Stay focused on God! Remember, the real battle is not between each other, but against the enemy!