“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:12
A customer approached me and asked for my assistance to locate a specific item. I knew the exact item had been recalled and no longer able to be sold. I explained the situation and by the end of my sentence, her facial expression of rage warned me that I was about to have it! She began yelling and demanding to speak to my manager because ‘I was rude and unhelpful’. I was shocked at her reaction but had no problem calling my manager. Needless to say, my manager said the same thing I said and informed the customer her item was not available. As she stomped away in anger, I realized the negative feelings that was left behind. Although, I handled the situation in a professional manner because I was at work, had she caught me out of uniform, I could have responded differently. Yes, I love Jesus but don’t get it twisted, I am still from The Bronx. Moments after our encounter, I felt God working in my heart and mind.
The verse that God placed in my heart was in Ephesians 6:12. Usually when people are rude, angry or abrupt in some way, chances are they are going through something internally. I do not know what this woman had going on in her life, but her instant anger was a red flag that she was dealing with personal problems. The battle is not of flesh and blood, it’s much deeper than that. The enemy uses people to do his work and it starts with those who allow themselves to be used. When we let anger lead our emotions, the enemy is using us. When we allow our personal issues to negatively affect our behaviors, attitudes and moods the enemy is at work. When we chose to hurt others because we are hurting ourselves, the enemy is sitting back with his feet up eating popcorn and enjoying the scene play out.
We must be aware of how we treat others, despite what we are going through. Just because we are having a bad day, doesn’t mean we need to make others have a bad day. If I would have seen the customer through the eyes of Ephesians 6:12, instead of getting offended, I could have prayed for her. It was obvious that she was frustrated but because of my lack of understanding, I took her words personal instead of feeling empathy. This woman could of lost her mother, got fired from a job or going through a difficult divorce. Whatever her situation was, as a child of God, I should have been able to see past flesh and blood and focused on her Spirit within.
When we step out into this world, it is our duty to be Christ-like. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, in fact, living like Jesus is the most difficult thing anyone could ever do. Jesus was mocked, beaten and hated, simply for being who He was. There are going to be people who are rude and careless but that should not stop us from loving them. We must pray for understanding and wisdom so that God can help us when we encounter the enemy’s people. We must be equipped in the word of God because The Word is our sword to fight against the enemy’s attacks. For every evil attack, there is a way to overcome. We don’t battle people, we battle mindsets. If you do not know the word of God, you will not be able to overcome the battle. So, let’s take up our sword and be prepared for the enemy’s next attack!
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” -Hebrews 4:12