I was listening to my oldest son sharing the hardships of working with a man that avoided his responsibilities and created discord in the workplace. He had one rule for himself and another for his fellow employees, which caused my son to feel desperate for relief.
My son went on and talked about how the house next to him had new tenants with a dog that barked at him every time he walked into his backyard. He had just built a gazebo and had the yard where he could enjoy the early morning fresh air. After a few mornings of the dog barking and the owner yelling at the dog, he set his mind to figure a way to get the dog to stop barking at him.
The next morning, he brought dog treats out with him. There was a knot hole in their privacy fence, so when the dog started barking at him he pushed the dog treat through the hole and the dog took it and went on about his business. He wanted him to know that he wasn’t the enemy. Now he keeps dog treats close by just in case the dog forgets. He is now enjoying the quiet mornings under his new gazebo.
I began to think about the problem he had with his fellow worker. I thought, since he was smart enough and caring enough to seek a solution for his problem with the dog, how much greater importance it is to seek a solution to the problem with this man. Which, I’m sure my son is caring enough and spiritually mature enough to seek a solution so they both might enjoy the workplace.
When confronted with such situations, we all should pray for wisdom and ponder ways to enlighten those bound in darkness. Our greatest trials involve people outside of our immediate family. Our only effective weapons of warfare are the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is hard on the flesh when we are in spiritual warfare with those around us.
Using the armor of the Lord to solve problems with self-centered bullies, liars, and thieves, seem useless to the carnal mind, but yet scriptures tell us they are the weapons of our spiritual warfare.
We could ask ourselves, what are we most influenced by when we are under stress and unenlightened. We would answer, kindness and patience in preference to rudeness and rejection. Being a light in a dark place requires us to “become” light. To become light requires us to enlighten ourselves in the ways of kindness, patience, love, etc., and to put on the mind of Christ for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.
The carnal mind seems to believe that one has the principles of the Holy Spirit readily available, but only when “it” (their carnal reasoning) deems them deserving. The problem with the carnal mind is that it “cannot” comprehend the value or strength of the fruit of the Holy Spirit; therefore, its idea of good and right is based on self-love, which depends on how it affects self. When self is considered above another person’s spiritual need, then both are in darkness. The only weapons of spiritual warfare that are effective against the adversary of our souls are the fruits of righteousness.