“…Ill deeds have been done here; but let now all enmity that lies between you be put away, for it was contrived by the Enemy and works his will….” ~ Gandalf to servants of Denethor in The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Those who have read this story know that these stories are epic good versus evil and in this particular scene, the Great Enemy that threatened to swallow all of Middle Earth in darkness had caused dissension and fighting among those who were fighting against him.
Tolkien speaks through Gandalf a warning that we would do well to pay attention to, because all too often the enemy sows seeds of discord even among God’s people. Those who love the Lord do not realize the enemy of their souls has used our humanity against us and caused strife within the body of Christ. We get caught up in the unimportant and lose sight of what our focus should be. Deep within us, there is a betrayer that looks for every opportunity to goad us into forgetting what is truly important.
So what is truly important? Jesus told us he was giving us a new commandment, and that is that we are to love one another, and by this all people will see that we belong to him. When we allow ourselves to be in competition with each other, we allow Satan to kill that love we have for one another and so be a witness to the opposite of what we want, which is to share the love of Jesus with the world around us. When we are at odds with each other and we work Satan’s will.
Rich Mullins wrote a song, We Are Not as Strong as We Think We Are, which wrote after his break up with his fiancé; I think the song applies to us. “If you make me laugh I know I can make you like me, ‘cause when I laugh I can be a lot of fun, but when we can’t do that I know that it is frightening what I don’t know is why we can’t hold on, can’t hold on…”
We know we are in a war and we know that the Lord has already won. The enemy is still fighting because he still has the potential to destroy the lives of men and women. What better way than to use God’s children?
After all, what really matters?