Isaiah 52:5, “Now therefore, what do I have here,” declares the LORD, “seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?” Again the LORD declares, “Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long.”
Acts 5:12-13, “At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem.”
Friendly fire in the Gulf War brought unnecessary casualties to both American and British troops, accounting for a fourth of all Allied casualties. In 1994, with the Gulf War long over, American jets shot down two American helicopters over Iraq, mistaking them for the enemy. Friendly fire is a danger in war or in a war zone, despite intentional procedures to prevent it.
In Hawaii, December 7, 1941, three shipyard workers, on their way to Pearl Harbor, died from friendly fire. Five-inch shells shot at Japanese planes from the U.S. fleet hit the men’s car, destroying it and leaving them dead inside.
It is a short step from friendly fire casualties in battle to the needless suffering Christians inflict on one another. In a kingdom ruled by the Prince of Peace, to whom each subject yields allegiance, interpersonal mayhem should be the exception where it is all too often the rule. Christians seem to forget when with their peers the manners they sensibly show when with the unsaved. Forgiveness, tolerance, and patience should as clearly characterize our feelings for each other as for the lost. We cannot hide our private wars from the public forever. In fact, our inability to love one another has been as deadly as the breath of Rappaccini’s daughter. Sadly, it has made skeptics of those who hear us say that God loves them.
Courtesy of Speaker’s Sourcebook of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley copyright © 1995 by Word, Incorporated. Used by permission.
*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
They who have loved together have been drawn close; they who have struggled together are forever linked; but they who have suffered together have known the most sacred bond of all. – Anonymous
Friendship is the great opportunity to demonstrate our capacity for lofty and ennobling relationships without the motive of selfishness. – Appleby
It is one of the severest tests of the friendship to tell your friend his faults. So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain on him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship. – Henry Ward Beecher
Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer. – Fontaine