When I was in the Army, we had to learn how to “shoot, move, and communicate.” In Basic Training, the recruit is trained to march, march, march; trained to shoot downrange, to throw the grenade away from the bunker, and how to use a Claymore Mine.
Everything in the Army is idiot proof. The Claymore Mine is a personal land mine, that a solider can post front of the fighting position. When deployed, it has a effective radius, meant to kill or deter the enemy from taking over the area.
The Claymore Mine has these words engraved on the front: “Front Toward the Enemy.” One would think it wouldn’t be necessary to put this message on the land mine.
It is necessary.
There are two obvious reasons why this step of caution is so necessary: 1. so that the land mine doesn’t kill one’s comrades, and 2. so that the land mine will effectively harm the enemy.
The Apostle Paul writes, “But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.” Galatians 5:15. Christian cannibalism. Self inflicting wounds. The church is doing a masterful job of biting and devouring one another.
Paul’s admonishing words are spoken in the context of spiritual freedom. The apostle discusses that even though followers of Christ have freedom, we are not given freedom to be abusive, unforgiving, or unloving. “The whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘love your neighbor as yourself.'” Galatians 5:14 NLT
Paul writes in Ephesians 6 that our battle is not with one another! Why? because the weapons that God has given to the church are to be directed “toward the enemy.” Like the Army, God has made the weapons that we have to be idiot proof: 1. don’t harm one another, 2. do harm to the enemy.
Let’s love one another, and fight together – not with one another.
Let’s the keep the weapon “front toward the enemy.”