“She’s not the dragon, Kit,” my friend told me.
I had been struggling with a friendship bruised by pride and misunderstandings. “The dragon,” she added, “is sin.”
That wisdom turned my sense of fault and blame on its head and got me looking at my friend and at myself in a different light–the light of compassion.
I had been wincing from the cold shoulder treatment my friend was giving me and reeling from the gossip coming back to my ears. I kept looking in the mirror, asking myself, “where did I go wrong?”
And when I did, I found things I said and did. Things I wasn’t proud of. And I remembered things she said and did. Things I struggled to let go of.
When I looked at it through new eyes I saw it. Sin. Not just her sin, my sin.
And whether I get wrapped up in bitterness over her sin, or shame over my sin, I’m just feeding the dragon.
When Cain found bitterness in his heart against his brother Able, God warned him to be careful. “sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:7, ESV). God was warning Cain that his anger at Able was misdirected. It’s sin that’s the enemy. Had Cain heeded God’s warning and learned to love Able and reject his own bitterness, he and Able would have been spared the crime that followed.
When I’m hurt over something someone has done, or ashamed over something I’ve done, sin is crouching, waiting to pounce. And in a friendship, that pounce happens with an unkind word, a dig, or a cold-shoulder that raises the walls between friends even higher.
So how do you slay a dragon? Stop feeding it!
- Notice dragon food – Every time you start to mutter to yourself about the situation, think of that mutter as a juicy bit of meat the dragon is ready to devour. Whether you are muttering “I can’t believe she did that,” or “I’m such a fool,” recognize that thought as fuel for the dragon.
- Give that thought to God instead – Say, “wow,God, sin got ahold of me again,” or “Lord, sin got ahold of her again.”
- Use eyes of compassion – for both of you. See she and you from His perspective. You are both daughters of the living God. You are both precious to Him. Can you see yourself and her as precious in your eyes too?
No, she’s not a dragon. She’s a sister in Christ. And He loves her.
And He loves you too.
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