A winning Super Bowl football team always has a strong defensive component. A reigning political world power always has a strong military to defend it’s borders. A strong individual knows how to protect himself against adversarial forces. The common ground philosophically is apparent. Everything that exists must face other entities that, left unfettered, would contribute to its demise. However, the form that defensive protection takes depends on the nature of the enemy.
The field of psychology (Freud, in particular) has delineated and defined a long list of “defense mechanisms” that protect us from overwhelming emotional distress. In short, they help us cope. The “enemy” could emerge from our surrounding world or it could erupt from within our psyche. Either way, we fight against “flesh and blood” as the Bible states it. But if the enemy comes from a different realm, a spiritual realm, these defense mechanisms will not work.
Therefore, the Bible delineates and defines a brief list of “armor” that protects us from overwhelming spiritual demise. I think a lot of us don’t want to bother with this armor because (1) we don’t really believe the enemy exists (stupid) or (2) we’re afraid we might look funny (like the picture). Whatever our hesitation, I think its better to equip ourselves with truth, righteousness, the Gospel of peace, salvation and the Word of God than to risk becoming a casualty. Even if our appearance seems a little peculiar in the eyes of many, it’s better than death.
So, while all defenses form some wall of protection, each wall takes on a unique form, depending on the nature of the enemy. It’s a reminder to me not only to stay alert and attuned to my own weaknesses but also to know the various enemies that threaten my health. Then, make sure I maintain various kinds of adequate defenses.
By the way, I found this picture on another blog called “picturespeak.” It’s a delightful place to see vivid pictures of popular (and some less familiar) Bible passages. The visual impact of these well-chosen photos helps reinforce the significance of the biblical concept. I so enjoyed it that I included a link and hope to see many more regular additions.