Jason B. Ladd

Ask the Questions. Embrace the Answers. Make the Leap.

Caution: I Have a Sword and I Don’t Know How to Use It

sword

© Jason B. Ladd

The pen is mightier than the sword.  Unless that sword is the Word of God.  When used properly, God’s word is the most powerful force on earth.

But when used recklessly, it can deafen listeners to the ultimate message of God’s love.

Disclaimer: I have fallen into all the pitfalls described in this post.  If you’d like to learn how to climb out with me, keep reading!

sword

© Jason B. Ladd

The natural response when you receive a sword is to start swinging.  The purpose of this post is to give you a few “weapons safety rules” to follow before you accidentally impale the chambers of an open heart.

“In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword.”  Revelation 1:16

During military basic training, recruits routinely recite information in unison while marching to and from various locations around the base.

I remember reciting our four weapons safety rules while marching to the chow hall:

  1. “Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.”
  2. “Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.”
  3. “Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to fire.”
  4. “Keep your weapon on safe until you intend to fire.”

God’s word is often described in the Bible as a double-edged sword.

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.”  Ephesians 6:17

This imagery explains the dividing nature of the truth of Christ.

“There will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.”  Luke 12:52

The world will forever be split between those who accept His word and those who reject it.  Christians need to be aware of the power they hold when they wield the word of God.

We’ve all heard stories from annoyed victims of irresponsible proselytizing:

  • “She told me that if I didn’t join her particular Church, I’d be going to hell!”
  • “He said if we listen to that kind of music we weren’t really saved.”
  • “They said if I didn’t agree with their interpretation, then I was harming the church.”

When a person newly accepts Christ, they are eager to follow the Great Commission:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”  Matthew 28:19-20

These well-meaning Gospel sharers can cause problems under several conditions:

  • The message is shared out of context.
  • The non-essential doctrine is preached as an essential doctrine for salvation.
  • The speaker misinterprets the literal or figurative nature of the text.
  • The sharer doesn’t point out distinctions between temporary prescriptions (some Old Testament laws) and eternal principles (teachings of Jesus).

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”  Proverbs 12:18

(Click here to Tweet that!)

Here are three safety rules which will help you safely share the Gospel and the message of God’s love:

  1. Be humble.  Arrogance does not come off well.  Plus, you don’t know what you don’t know (a lesson I frequently relearn).  
  2. Be informed.  Follow Peter’s advice and be prepared to give a defense for the hope that is in you.
  3. Be encouraged.  Jesus said before they rejected you, they rejected Him.  Author and former CEO of Thomas Nelson, Michael Hyatt, writes in a blog post on leadership,

 “Courage is not the absence of fear.  Courage is the willingness to act in spite of my fear.”

(Click here to Tweet that!)

How has the sword cut you?

sword

© Jason B. Ladd

Related Posts

 

.

 

About Jason B. Ladd

Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.

19 Replies

  1. Harolene Leguizamon

    Loved that! Thanks for stopping by my site, I hope you have a blessed week-end!

  2. Man, how could I ever forget the four safety rules! “TREAT…NEVER…KEEP…KEEP”

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      Sounds like you’ve recited them a few times!

    2. Sounds like someone who has spent some time reciting them!

  3. Sandy Dorland

    Wow. I was immediately taken back to my late teens in college right after I took my altar call.

    I became all about swinging that thing, with not an ounce of love, subtlety, compassion or humility. Ouch. Sure am glad some dear friends stuck with me and patiently taught me love… and ultimately were God’s hands in my life.

    Thanks for your post. All blessings! <3

    1. We can all use a little help from our friends! Thanks for commenting.

  4. Joey

    Lol… reminds me of all my earlier blunders… Absolutely wonderful and inspiring .. God be praised

    1. I’m glad you can relate. I’m sure a lot of others can, too! Thanks for the feedback.

  5. Joey

    I loved reading it… Thanks for the post

  6. I love the 3 safety rules. I have certainly been irresponsible as well–I look back on some instances and want to crawl in a hole with shame. Thankfully, our Lord is gracious and doesn’t turn from us in disgust. Always a work in progress, yes? I think, for me, the sword has cut most often within ‘church’. Believers wielding scripture, forcing others believers into their particular vision of what a ‘good Christian’ is. Great read!

    1. Well said. There is a lot of pride about what people don’t do, and not enough focus on what Jesus did do for all of us.

    2. Well said. There is often a lot of pride in what people do or do not do. Instead, we should always focus on what Jesus did for all of us.

  7. Lele Lu

    The last quote is so true, courage is acting despite fear. Also the three safety rules are so needed especially the first. Humility makes us approachable it allows the other person to let their guard down. Thank you for this…I needed to be reminded of this again before my busy work week begins. God bless.Thanks for stopping by my blog I would never have had a chance to read this otherwise. Have a great day!

    1. Glad you liked the rules. Thanks for the feedback!

  8. Mic Pencilpoint

    Awesome post, sir. Boy it must be fun flying F-16! A Spitfire would be neat too.

    1. It is always a thrill. Thanks for commenting!