“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

–John 10:10

I played soccer worse than any kid in junior high–not an exaggeration. No one passed the ball to me on purpose, but one deflected kick sent it right to my toes. Overwhelmed by the opportunity to do something, I managed a sort of dribble. I grinned at those yelling to me, but the excitement had deafened me. Validation for my first athletic action propelled me forward. The rush of air and pride electrified my pores. I ran halfway down the field before the words got through to me…You’re going the wrong way, you idiot! I was heading toward the opponent’s goal. It seems matter how fast you run, helping the other team score makes you the worst player.

I wish that were the last time I helped an enemy win. With far higher stakes on the line than a P.E. game, I’ve assisted a treacherous opponent to score against us. I have helped my foe swing a grave battle in his favor. Not just once, but on a regular basis. I sprint dozens of yards in the wrong direction before recognizing my mistake. Why? Because I choose to believe his lies instead of the truth shouted from the One on my side.

The enemy of my soul tricked me into helping him steal, kill, and destroy in many subtle kicks. He lured me as a joy-thieving accomplice. I’ve slain love to purchase fear, destroyed time intended to serve God, believing these pursuits served my goal. With every toxic belief and insecure step, I diverged from my true goal of Christ’s abundant life in His love.

Time to retrain my mind and stop assisting the opponent. No more steps in the wrong direction. Let me counter each negative thought with a double portion of love and praise before I act upon it. I will fight the enemy’s strategies  sabotage my teammates or me.

Our team has the ball. What will you do to help keep it moving toward the right goal?