PERSONALITY OR PRINCIPALITY?
(Eph 6:12) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities . . .
We can all agree that communication is the key to any relationship. When we speak we work hard on being clear, so we can be understood. When others are speaking we strive to listen and clarify so we can know what they are trying to convey. When all this is happening, there is a smoothness and joy to the experience because two people have communicated and have reaped the benefit.
But what do you do when you’re doing your best but you’re just not getting across? You feel awkward at first and then you apologize and then you repeat yourself. But there is a snag. The other person still doesn’t get it. You start to get upset. Why can’t they get it? It’s so basic! Was I not clear, or what? Are they just being stubborn or stupid? At this juncture you can just lose it. You can raise your voice and start to chew the person out. And then they will just love that, so the volley will come back over to your side of the net. Ouch! You hit me on purpose. Why you . . . !
Paul says we wrestle not against personalities but against principalities. When communication breaks down could there be a third party on the line? And is this third party garbling the words so that you will get frustrated at each other? Satan loves to watch a good fight. It makes him very happy when his intentions are fulfilled in a misunderstanding. I think he does a little dance each time.
Wise the person who recognizes the underlying cause of the confusion and turns to prayer. (2 Cor 10:3-5) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments . . . And then turns to the help of the Spirit. (Gal 5:22-23) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control . . . This way the adversary is neutralized, and the flow of the conversation can resume. The turbulence is over. And the devil has to take his dancing shoes off!
(2 Tim 2:24-25) And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition . . .
(Psa 133:1) Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
(Eph 4:3) endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.