Our Battle Is Not Each Other
Facebook is not my friend. Or so it feels that way. While I love reconnecting with old friends and seeing photos of milestone moments, there’s something about social media that brings out the crazy in people. Me included.
Last month, I commented on a friend’s post, and her reaction startled me. She said my comment was offensive and insensitive. Then she posted how “holier than thou Christians” are the thorn in her flesh, referencing my previous comment. Ouch! Part of me wanted to zing back for getting schooled. The other part just melted in a puddle.
After sobbing buckets, I attempted to defend myself saying, “That’s not what I meant!” I even sent her a private message begging her forgiveness. She never responded.
It was all this huge misunderstanding, and now my friend was hurt by me, and I was hurt by her.
I decided to delete all of my social media accounts, my website included. I told myself it just wasn’t worth it. I'm kind of extreme like that.
Over the past few years, some friendships have ended over misunderstandings. Perceived rejections have separated us. So after my friend’s reaction to my seemingly innocent Facebook comment, I deemed myself unfriendable.
Because, you know, that extreme thinking I have. Oh, I'm also dramatic.
But after sobbing to God about "why does this always happen to me" and other martyr-type complaining, I got new insight into a favorite Old Testament story.
In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat and the Israelites are about to go to war. When they arrive on the battlefield, this is what they see:
22 ... the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. 23 The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. 24 So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.
I used to think this was just hysterical. How foolish these armies were! They attacked each other instead of their real enemy. Hilarious! The Israelites won the battle by never entering the fight.
But here was my new insight: Our enemy Satan uses this same tactic on us. He has deceived Christians into thinking we are each other’s worst enemy. We attack each another instead of our real enemy. And the church is suffering.
Someone doesn't say Hi to you at church. And they looked right at you.
Your friend request goes unaccepted.
You weren't invited to the get together this weekend.
You're convinced her motive was a passive aggressive dig to make you feel incapable when she asked if you needed help.
She didn't wish you Happy Birthday on Facebook when she ALWAYS wishes OTHER people Happy Birthday.
In Ephesians 6:12-13, Paul reminds us:
12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Other Christians are not my enemies. They aren't the cause for my hurt. Rather, we are victims of the enemy's deceptive tactics to divide us. Because in dividing the church, he weakens the body of Christ.
I knew I couldn’t hide from this battle anymore. It was time to put on my armor and take back ground the enemy had stolen. Mainly, my relationships with women.
In 2016, I lead a weekly women's Bible study and also an Online Bible Study based on the book, Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst. Here's what it's about:
The enemy wants us to feel rejected . . . left out, lonely, and less than.
In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences of rejection--from the perceived judgment of the perfectly toned woman one elliptical over to the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father. She leans in to honestly examine the roots of rejection, as well as rejection's ability to poison relationships from the inside out, including our relationship with God.
With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa will help you:
Stop feeling left out by believing that even when you are overlooked by others you are handpicked by God.
Change your tendency to either fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process your hurt.
Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady your soul and restore your confidence in the midst of rejection.
Overcome the two core fears that feed your insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging.
Uninvited reminds us we are destined for a love that can never be diminished, tarnished, shaken, or taken--a love that does not reject or uninvite.