Mary, the fly catcher
Mary Japadhola was a new convert. One day, she was in the ladies’ washroom when she heard a conversation that tore her heart apart. She was so shaken she wasn’t able to pick up the shattered pieces of her heart from the floor. Two ladies who had smiled and warmly welcomed her to the women’s ministry, stood before the floor-to-roof mirror, freshening up.
“Janet, don’t tell me you also had diarrhea last Sunday?”
“Don’t mention it, Cleo!” Janet replied. “I think everyone who ate Mary’s bananas during our women’s meeting had diarrhea!”
“You mean even Pastor Shanaya Ashabarahanda too?” Cleo asked.
“Yes, even her,” Janet replied, coughing from the Johnsons Baby Powder she had sprayed in the air. “I am telling you, those Kibera bananas were so toxic even the Poison’s Board wouldn’t give them a clean bill of health!”
“Hehehehe Janet,” Cleo laughed. “Niokotwe Golgotha!” she added.
“Let’s go back for the second service,” Cleo continued. “I missed praise and worship.”
“So, I wasn’t the only one who came in late?” Janet asked.
A few minutes later, Mary heard the door rattle as Janet and Cleo left. When she flushed the toiled, it wasn’t because she wanted to get rid of any waste. She wanted to muffle the sound of her desperate wail. As she left the toilet, she wished the pastor had not asked the rest of the church to close their eyes when he made the altar call. Perhaps, the whole church would have seen a swarm of houseflies follow her as she walked towards the altar.
What is friendly fire?
- having wrong intelligence about enemy soldiers
- misunderstanding of tactics
- inexperience or panic
Do Christians Experience Friendly Fire?
Because Christians are soldiers in the army of the Lord, Christians also experience friendly fire. Friendly fire in church happens when people have the wrong information about us, our intentions, present circumstances and past. It happens mostly out of insecurity, jealousy or greed.
Sometimes, most of those who cause friendly fire are unaware. Most of the time, they are just arrogant and don’t care. This could be their peculiar way of dealing with their own superior or inferior complexes. Like I mentioned earlier, being aware about the existence of friendly fire will equip you with the skills you need to survive.
It is one thing to know you are in a war against a common enemy. It is a totally different cup of tea when you discover that someone in the same camp has their trigger aiming at you. Friendly fire accounts for spiritual growth stagnation more than getting attacked by the devil does. In fact, it is one of the best tools and tactics that the enemy uses to divide and rule the Body of Christ.
Who is at risk of friendly fire?
There are two kinds of places where friendly fire happens the most. One of them is at the church. The second place is at home where Christians reside. So, who is at risk of friendly fire?
This includes and not limited to the following:-
- spouses, children, relatives and neighbours
- those who work under pastors
- security guards
- cleaners and other subordinate staff
- those who visit church offices
- ministry workers and church volunteers
This includes the following:-
- house-helps, security guards and other subordinate staff
Friendly fire can be avoided. Luke 6:31 provides the golden rule by which we ought to relate to others. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” Jesus said. Rather than doing what has been done to us, or treating them as their behaviour deserves, we are to treat others the way we want to be treated.
As a Christian, you need to try as much as you can to treat others well. Shun from negative talk about others, gossip, backbiting and excluding others from activities. This way, we will be able to safeguard the interests of other Christians. Our churches will be filled with people who are experiencing growth in all areas of their lives.
What’s more, treating others well may trigger the inner healing that each one of us deserves. The church needs not to be a battle ground where friendly fire kills and wounds the Body of Christ. It should instead be a sanctuary where all Christians are armed to focus their collective fire on the devil, who is the right enemy. We should not waste our ammunition on those who belong to the Body of Christ.