Shooting At The Saints
from a daily devotional magazine, a long time ago
"Do not speak evil against one another, brethren…" James 4 : 11a
It is said that when the British and French were fighting in Canada in the 1750s, Admiral Phipps, commander of the British fleet, was told to anchor outside Quebec. He was given orders to wait for the British land forces to arrive, then support them when they attacked the city. Phipps' navy arrived early. As the admiral waited, he became annoyed by the statues of the saints that adorned the towers of a nearby cathedral. So he commanded his men to shoot at them with the ships' cannons. No one knows how many rounds were fired or how many statues were knocked out, but when the land forces arrived and the signal was given to attack, the admiral was of no help. He had used up all his ammunition shooting at the "saints."
This incident reminds me of what sometimes happens in Christian circles when believers become critical of other believers whom they find to be irritating in some way or other. They may hold opposing political opinions, or may live on different social levels. These differences tend to divide, and sometimes arouse criticism. Focusing on them is always a waste of time and energy. It not only causes strife, but it weakens Christian warriors for the real conflict with satan and his cohorts. And James suggests that he is our real foe - not our fellow believers with whom we may have petty differences.
Let's expend our efforts against our powerful unseen enemy - the devil. If we do, we won't have any ammunition left for shooting at the saints.
"When God's own children aim their sights
Away from their real foe,
They waste their time and hurt their friends,
And cause themselves great woe." - Branon
When you throw mud at someone,
You are the one who is losing ground.
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