During my years on a SWAT team, the man who carried all our necessary gear was called the Utility Man. A Utility Man carried bolt cutters, tape to mark doorways once a room was cleared, rope, various tools along with our flashbang and smoke grenades. On top of all the utility gear, he carried his personal kit and weapon. He also walked backward most of the time to protect us from a rear assault.
Early on in my training, a wise and more experienced SWAT officer told me to make sure I always carried a grenade pin on my duty belt. A grenade pin is what you pull from the grenade lever to make the unit ready for deployment. The only thing that kept the grenade from activating was the pin inserted in a hole in the grenade lever. If you pulled the pin and the situation did not merit the use of a grenade you had to reinsert the pin or you were left holding an active grenade with no place to toss it.
Our heated and passionate opinions remind me of a flashbang grenade. A flashbang is tossed in a room moments before entry to stun your adversary. The flash activates all the light-sensitive cells in the eye making it impossible to see. The loud sound creates a temporary loss of hearing and the fluid in the inner ear is disrupted causing a loss of balance. A lot of flashbang opinions are being tossed into relationships of late. It’s no wonder some parts of the Church can appear disoriented, stunned, and unable to move forward.
The Lord is asking some of us to hold off tossing yet another flashbang grenade of opinion and consider what we are doing to our relationships. It appears we all have an opinion and a heartfelt position on a variety of hot topics. Tossing another flashbang opinion into a relational room won’t do much except confuse and disorient our already fragile relationships.
Some of you are holding an active opinion in your hand at this moment ready to toss it into the latest disagreement. If the Lord asks you to stand down have you held on to the pin of your ego and will, enabling you to reinsert the pin back into your opinion and reconsider your options? Just because we are carrying a variety of opinions their deployment is not always the best tactic. Sometimes standing down is the wisest course of action.