I am battle wounded. It’s not the first time but it is the most serious wound to date. I was not wounded on some distant battlefield; my wounds occurred right here in my hometown. What war is being waged in Mid-Michigan? The war against sin, of course.
My wound is serious, the death of a spouse. There are many other serious wounds which impact the life of a Christian. Most of the followers of Christ whom I know are wounded and scared. No matter the wound one must remember that it all started in the garden with the fall of Adam and Eve. It was there that sin was introduced to the world. Along with sin came death, disease, and suffering which has left a trail of wounded people behind. These wounds may be physical or emotional but they are always used by the enemy as a spiritual weapon to diminish one’s ability to function, one’s ability to continue to impact the world for Christ. Wounds are inevitable (John 16:33). Yet, in spite of them, a Christian can battle on.
The concept of battling on originates in the principle of resiliency: the ability to bounce back, to recover quickly, and return to the battle in spite of one’s sin-inflicted wounds. Wounds from sin may be self-inflicted, other-inflicted, or a result of living in this fallen world but the follower of Christ may always exhibit resiliency.
I recently participated in a seminar for counselors on the topic of helping military members with Bob Dees. Considering Mark 12:30-31, I have adapted five points of developing resiliency to the Church from this seminar. Allow me to share:
- Physical – Sleep, exercise, relaxation, and nutrition each have a role in healthy living. The natural aging process, disease, and physical infirmities are common but doing one’s part to keep the body strong will help in times of distress. In short, our physical being impacts our spiritual life.
- Mental – Developing the mind of Christ, thinking as Jesus would think.
- Social – Involvement in the local Church. Not just attendance but actively engaged in the life and ministry of the Church. Engaged with other believers.
- Emotional – Understanding that emotions are normal. Even so, no one should be lead by emotions but instead be empowered by them.
- Spiritual – The ability to understand life from a Biblical worldview.
As followers of Christ each of us are called to be warriors in the battle for the hearts, minds, and souls of our neighbors. Developing resiliency to battle on despite life’s wounds will improve one’s effectiveness. To borrow a resiliency statement from the Army which seems to sum up the Christian life: “Warriors fight, warriors get wounded, warriors bounce back, warriors fight again.” Battle on Church, battle on.
(Note: this article was submitted to my church’s newsletter and I wrote a similar version which appeared in Baptist Beacon)