Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

One of the more enjoyable parts of viewing thriller movies is the quest to identify whom the villain is before she or he exposes herself or himself. The surreptitious sabotage. Which character is Iago? Which well-meaning and seemingly supportive neighbor is actually Linda Tripp?

We are challenged by engaging in this “game” of sorts because we have an incomplete picture. Yet, this information is already determined because it is in the script.

Daily we see news pieces, op-eds or hear “water cooler” talk that prompts us to pick a side. Should we wear a mask? Or not? Should we get vaccinated? Or not? An abortion case is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court this term. Do you side with the “baby killers?” Do you believe inviolate a woman’s right to her own body? Has the very mention of these topics triggered something in you? If the topics themselves did not ruffle your feathers what about a post by someone on Facebook that took a side?

This is not to say we should avoid meaningfully and intentionally thinking, researching and reflecting on these critical issues. We should be engaged. We also should pray and seek the light of God’s Word as the foundation for our views.

Yet, what we often miss is that the very catalyst for us to type up a strongly worded social media post or espouse a view that is polarizing at our child’s football practice is not just our passion or strong sense of moral standing.

Arguments that erupt in-person or on social media platforms often have us tossing verbal grenades at each other –generating much more heat than light. This is because we call out the wrong villain.

We have bought into the lie that “wrong” lies in a political party, an ethnic background, a socio-economic class or a particular zip code. This is all too sad and ultimately, costly, as the real force dividing us slips out of sight. Jesus let us know who the real enemy is – and unlike most big screen productions – we have been given insight about this villain in the script.

John 8:44 (b) “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

Andrae P. Crismon Sr. is the pastor of Higher Ground Worship Center in Murfreesboro. He is also the author of “Lord, Keep My Mind Clean: Teen Edition” --a 31- day devotional and accountability journal. He can be reached at highergroundchurch@yahoo.com

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