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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Plain Lifestyle, Servants Of Christ » The Moral of the Story

The Moral of the Story

     I’d like to tell you a little story. It is not unlike one of those that your mother read to you when you were young. Just like her, I’m going to tell you that it has a moral.

    There once was a war going on between two armies. It was fierce and had lasted for many, many years. It was not likely that this war would end anytime soon. Both sides were trenched in to stay whatever time it took to be victorious. Both sides had determined to win at any cost.

The soldiers on each side were highly trained and amply supplied. They were provided with equipment and ammunition to do what soldiers must do to win. Their training provided them the knowledge to stay alive and to succeed in their duty. They were also equipped with special body armor to keep the enemy from penetrating and mortally wounding them. Each knew who the enemy was. At least they had been trained in boot camp and given a special manual to identify them. But that is where the problem began.

  It seems that one of the two armies began to have difficulty in determining just who the bad guy was. The problem was quickly seen by the commanding officers as a tremendous weapon of the other side. It had reached critical stages by the time that it had been diagnosed. A special task force was formed to see what must be done in defense. It was even given a code name to represent the problem. It was called PRIDE.

   You see, the soldiers of one army had been given everything that they needed to recognize the enemy and his tactics. But this tactic of the enemy kept blinding every soldier it touched. It was one of the most effective secret weapons of the other side. And it could strike at any second after lying dormant for years.

  The problem was documented again and again for years without decline. In one case study, two soldiers were passing through a mine field. One of the two had let up his guard and had felt he had mastered the mine detector that he held. One day, his comrade noticed that he was walking directly onto a mine. He had clearly spotted it as he had actually been hit himself in the same spot some time back. He called out to his friend and warned him of impending disaster. Immediately, the enemy’s weapon was launched and the second soldier was hit with it. He replied back that he didn’t need any help locating these mines. He was, after all, an expert with a mine locator and was doing just fine passing through the course that he had chosen. He had successfully passed through for many years in this mine field.

   But it was too late. The enemy had not only succeeded in blinding the soldier with the secret weapon. He had a carefully placed mine that was, just as predicted by his friend, in his path. The impact of the two weapons, used in a one-two punch was devastating.

 In another story that was documented repeatedly, soldiers began to shoot each other in the back after the secret weapon was launched. It seems that they had decided that a soldier that had fallen must surely be the enemy. In their minds, true soldiers would surely never fall on the battlefield. To their eyes, a fallen soldier must surely be a double agent and working for the other side. It was even noted that actual squads formed to hunt out this kind. A sort of witch-hunt went on, contrary to the Commanding Officer. This blinding of their eyes seemed to be one symptom that the enemy’s weapon had done it’s work.

   But it was not the only way that the weapon worked. It also blinded the minds of the soldiers. In a final category of documentation, there was the confusion as to exactly what the mission was in this war. After all, it had started so many decades ago that the ultimate objective was somehow lost. Soldiers began to start thinking of their jobs as a profession and that the enemy was actually good in the sense that he kept their business going. Instead of helping their brothers in arms do better on the battlefield, they saw them as competition and actually took the enemies side. They used every means necessary to talk about them including two way radios, email and other forms of modern communication.

   The logic was that if you made others look smaller it would make you look larger, thus increasing your firepower in this war. This seemed to be a weapon of the good side but was in fact a scheme of the enemy to let his opponent dispense his weapon, saving him the trouble. It seemed that once it started in this way, it was very hard to stop. This form of it affected many more soldiers with a single strike so it was much more efficient for the enemy to use. It was a lot like a hot potato that was thrown into a foxhole. No one threw it out. They just kept passing it around.

   “There must be some way to stop this”, said the Captain. “It seems to penetrate every form of defense we have. Why, the soldiers actually allow it to come into their camps and share it like it’s something that is good.” But the only way found to defend against it was already documented in the Manual given at boot camp.

  Now, you’ve probably read this far and have seen exactly what is going on. We have an enemy who uses wily methods and schemes like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. We have been given what we need to identify pride, which is the secret weapon in the story. But what you may not have seen is that it has worked on all of us to blind us to problems.

   Who among us has not been given a cautious warning from a friend, only to get our feathers ruffled and mad at the insinuation? How dare they? Even if the message was given in total love, it can be received in a prideful heart. This is also awkward to be in the messenger’s role. There is nothing more frustrating than being misunderstood. But I’ve been there, and keeping silent would have only been sin for me. Ezekiel 3:17-21

What we often don’t realize is that those who truly love us often have the best insight to see deeper problems in our lives. We attack back and since we know them equally well, we feel the need to counterattack with their “sins”. After all, they are just hypocrites to show you your problems when they have their own, aren’t they? If we are wise we will see that our true friends are the best observers to “watch our backs”. In fact, I think that the Lord meant for it to be that way. It’s called accountability. In Proverbs 27:6 it says that a friend’s wounds are faithful whereas an enemy’s kisses are deceitful.

   The other way pride works is that we begin to believe that we are no longer sinful and in need of a Savior. We have been mature for so many years that we have forgotten that we still fall. We are professional soldiers. In doing so, we will surely fall every time. Proverbs 16:18–we will miss seeing the forest because of all the trees that are in the way.

And finally, we see pride in the gossip that is passed around. I mean, isn’t that really pride? Often the “prayer chain” is the most powerful method to pass around a little gossip inside the church. Instead of going to the Father with the problem, we go to someone who turns out to be the greatest talebearer of the county. It’s like a wildfire out of control. Then it is too late. Be careful who you share problems with.

  Yes, pride is a blinding thing. Often we don’t see that it is in us until we have felt its sting. We are on the same side, my Brother. None of us will make it alone. We need each other, you andI.You watch my back and I’ll watch yours! No one fights alone.

 In Christ –  Paul


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"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24

Filed under: Plain Lifestyle, Servants Of Christ

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