by Leonard Lauriault
I recently recovered from a cosmetic tragedy that may actually have been more traumatic for others than for me. While I was getting a haircut the guard fell off my barber’s clippers creating a big gap. I didn’t see the horror on the barber’s face when he saw what happened; but, everyone in the room laughed, including him, when I laughed.
Still, the only alternative was to go ahead and take it all off (there wasn’t really that much to begin with as you can tell from the picture accompanying this article). To keep the record straight so you won’t be paranoid about your barber, this was entirely self-inflicted because I was alone in the room cutting my own hair.
The side of the guard had cracked making it too loose to stay on the clippers.
It’s amazing how a little hair it takes to cut the sunlight to the point that when the hair’s gone, the untanned skin reflects as much light as that given off by a fluorescent bulb. One of my “friends” even complained about having left his sunglasses at home (I laughed, again – Ha Ha!).
It’s also amazing how such little hair insulates against cold and wind. I wear a hood to protect the huge amount of surface area exposed on the top of my head and my ears; however, until my hair grew back, the sides of my head were especially sensitive, even under the hood.
Dropping that guard had a significant impact on my ability to withstand environmental influences. Dropping our guard in our Christian life increases our susceptibility to evil influences that come in several forms. Jesus told us to be on guard because we don’t know when he’ll return and he wants to find us serving him rather than living in sin (Matthew 24: 36-51).
Most of us understand that we should be careful about the influence our friends can have on us (1 Corinthians 15: 33; Proverbs 22: 5). Satan, himself, may be masquerading as one of our friends (2 Corinthians 11: 14, 15; 1 Peter 5: 8).
Guarding our eyes against envy, lust, and covetousness is how we guard our heart and soul and maintain faithfulness to God (Proverbs 4: 23;; Psalm 141:3, 4). Consequently, we need to guard against greed (Luke 12: 13-21; Colossians 3: 5). Guarding our mouths also is very beneficial because of the mouth’s relationship to the heart (Proverbs 13: 3; 21: 23; Matthew 15: 18-20; Psalm 19: 14).
As Christians we’ve been entrusted with a couple of deposits to help us stay on guard. Specifically, God gave us the Holy Spirit when we became a Christian as the deposit – the guarantee – of our salvation (Ephesians 1: 13, 14; Acts 2: 36-39). Additionally, as we study the Bible God deposits his word of truth in our hearts for our protection (James 1: 21b-25; 2 Timothy 2: 15; 3: 16, 17; Proverbs 19: 16). If we guard these deposits and use them to protect ourselves from evil influences, God surrounds us with the protection we need (Isaiah 52: 12; 1 Timothy 4: 16; 6: 20, 21; Proverbs 2: 6-11; 4: 13). Interestingly, these deposits work synergistically for our own protection and each one helps us guard the other (1 Corinthians 2: 12-16; Romans 8: 9, 15, 16; 2 Timothy 1: 13, 14).
In fencing, the en garde position includes raising the sword. Jesus defended himself against temptations by raising his sword (Ephesians 6: 17b). All who meditate on God’s law and avoid the way of the wicked will stand firm and be constantly refreshed by God (Psalm 1: 1-6; 119: 9-16). If we don’t stand firm in the faith, keeping up our guard, we won’t stand at all because sin will knock us out (Luke 21: 19; Isaiah 7: 9b; 1 Corinthians 16: 13).
While we must resist the devil to maintain our guard against evil influences, it’s appropriate to drop our guard before God and acknowledge our weaknesses and sins (James 4: 7-10). When we do that, his love for us covers the multitude of our sins and protects us from all that is against us (1 John 1: 7-10; 1 Peter 4: 8; Romans 8: 31-39; Philippians 4: 4-9). Then, even if we get knocked down by sin, we won’t have been knocked out (2 Corinthians 3: 17; 4: 7-9).
Our protection against the onslaught by evil is the armor God provides, each component of which is based in the Spirit and truth so we can maintain our righteous position before him (Ephesians 6: 10-18; John 4: 23, 24). Have you received the deposits God gives to guard against evil? Are you continuing to wear and use the armor he provides so that he’ll guard your life?