Some of the worst Christian teaching and Biblical counsel is given under the guise of being instruction in Spiritual Warfare. Spiritual warfare according to Scripture is really pretty simple and the following story illustrates it well.
“Joe ended up being one of the smallest boys in his class at Damon. A bully began to go after him. Someone told Joe that a bully is just a lot of hot air and bluff. If you stand up to him, he will get scared and run. You won’t have any more trouble out of him. Joe later would say, ‘That was some of the worst advice I ever had!’ he tried it; the bully whipped him.
“Sometime later the bully began picking on Johnny. One day johnny had enough and whipped the bully. Joe then made friends with Johnny. ‘As long as I stayed around Johnny,’ said Joe, ‘I never had to worry about the bully bothering me.”
“If you try to whip the devil on your own, Joe explained, he will beat you every time. But Jesus defeated Satan at Calvary. Stay close to Jesus; you can whip the devil every time.”
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The above story is excerpted from The Wit and Wisdom of Joe Brumbelow: Favorite Illustrations, Personal Stories, Humor, History, Folklore, and Lessons Learned from Over 50 Years in the Ministry. I believe the practical wisdom found in the pages of this book to be very beneficial for those engaged in ministry and heartily recommend it.
Eighty per cent of mankind is stuff to fill graves with.
~ Ford Madox Ford, in Esquire magazine, August 1966
Among the people there are killers who have not yet shed blood, and thieves who have stolen nothing, and liars who have so far told the truth.
~ Kahlil Gibran
Man’s nature is made up of four elements, which produce in him four attributes, namely, the beastly, the brutal, the satanic, and the divine. In man there is something of the pig, the dog, the devil, and the saint.
~ Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, in The Main Problems of Abu Nasr Al-Paraba
I am quite sure that (bar one) I have no race prejudices, and I think I have no color prejudices or caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed I know it. I can stand any society. All that I care to know is that a man is a human being–that is enough for me; he can’t be any worse.
~ Mark Twain, in Harper Magazine, Sept. 1899
Man is a marvelous curiosity. When he is at his very, very best he is a sort of low-grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time his is a sarcasm. Yet he blandly and in all sincerity calls himself the “noblest work of God.”
~ Mark Twain, in Letters from the Earth