He was at it again this morning.
The local bluebird perched on the outside mirror of the truck fully agitated and engaging in warfare with his reflection. Multiple times a day we see him there, flapping and pecking, flying up and darting off, or sitting as he regroups for attack, always making a general mess on the truck.
Today, I watched as he conducted his battle. After fighting for a while, he flew to the top of the birdhouse to sit with Mrs. Bluebird. I felt certain he was telling her of his exploits and his bravery in defending their territory and home. I assume she was listening. Soon, though, he was back at the truck to begin his fight all over again.
The day was beautiful, perfect for catching bugs or gathering seeds. Perfect for beginning to prepare the spring nest. Perfect for sailing through the sky.
But our bluebird spent it pecking at his reflection in the mirror of a truck.
I laughed at his antics, but I stopped when I thought of a verse in the book of James.
James 4: 1From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
We are good at fighting. Fighting for our place. Fighting for our pride. Fighting for our territory. Just like the bluebird, we spend our time fretting over enemies birthed in our own reflections. The battle with which we accost the world is often the result of what is inside of us, rather than a direct threat from outside.
Oh, and we miss the beauty! So focused on perceived misdeeds and attacks, we miss the blessings that God offers. We could be building relationships, preparing for service, basking in what God has done,
but we choose to spend our time fighting.
If you aren’t sure what I am talking about, open social media, or click on a news report, or listen to conversations at the ball field or in the grocery store. The fighting is evident. Unfortunately, Christians are not immune.
And the fighting makes a mess. Just like the refuse the bluebird leaves on the truck during each skirmish, our fighting leaves hurt feelings, wounded souls, diminished confidence, and broken testimonies.
I couldn’t help that bluebird today. He battles that truck mirror every time he sees it. James, though, gives advice in chapter four that can help us.
James 4: 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
Our human nature rises up at the least offense, puts up its fists, and is ready to war. God calls us to His heart. The closer that we scooch up to Him, the more we give our will to Him, the more our human nature can take a back seat, allowing us to resist the temptation to lose ourselves in senseless warfare.
We know who is cheering on the fighting – James tells us – and we do not want to be on his team.
Ephesians 4: 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.