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Kids with Swords

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:17


I turn 40 this year and I’ve been saving my pennies to mark the occasion. I recently went to the beautiful nation of Papua New Guinea on a surfing adventure…8 days on a remote stretch of coastline with nothing to do but surf and eat coconuts (if I haven’t shown you photos yet, let me know!). Aside from the natural beauty (and the humidity!) of the rural areas in PNG, one of the first things you’re immediately confronted by is that almost every person is carrying a machete…yep, 2 foot long bush knives, and even 5 year olds walk around like kids with swords! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intimidated at first, but that reflexive response quickly subsided when they smiled widely and waved enthusiastically with their other hand as our truck passed them by.



You see, whilst I might view a machete as a potential weapon, in PNG these bush knives are ’tools’ for clearing a path through bush, cutting fruit from a tree, or opening up a few coconuts for thirsty Australian surfers who’ve clearly had too much sun!

Obviously there is the potential for harm (both accidentally and intentionally inflicted), but no more so than the motor vehicles we were driving in. And when you’re handed your first knife at 5 years old, you get pretty skilled at wielding it…they’re taught to use them skilfully as a tool, not as a weapon against others.




In some ways, we’re also kids with swords. God has handed both weapons and tools to His sons and daughters - weapons for fighting evil, defending the weak, and taking ground from the enemy...and tools for building His kingdom, clearing paths less traveled, and growing communities that are safe and full of love. But rather than the approach many of us would take (i.e. keeping these things out of the hands of children), God has equipped and armed even the youngest among us with all they need to fight and build.


We’re all kids with swords - equipped with gifts, skills, abilities, and talents…and sadly, used incorrectly they have the potential to cause harm, but used as designed they have tremendous power and potential.


I wonder:

Is your blade freshly sharpened, or dull and in need of attention?

Is your blade ready for action, or set aside or buried under a bunch of rubbish?

Is your blade carried with care, or has often brushed up against some unsuspecting victim?

Is your blade clearing the way for and resourcing others, or is largely for decorative purposes?


You don’t need a licence to carry what God’s given you, but you do need to steward it and use it…God’s trusted us with His purposes, we’re His kids with swords.


Big love and grace,


James


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