In the fire service, we are a collective like none other. We bond together in times of crisis for others or for ourselves and work for the greater good. Yet, how sad is it that many of us are fighting against one another instead of uniting against real opposition.
“I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the Gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.” Philippians 1:27-28
So why it that some of us today in their passion to share their message are dividing the fire service more than uniting it?
If we would only realize that when we lose sight of the people behind our passion it is then that we are no longer passionate but poisonous.
Perhaps we would be wise to remember the words of our fire service mentors:
“If we lose sight of our identity, then perhaps we will lose sight of what it is we are supposed to stand for.” (Chief Ron Coleman)
Perhaps we should evaluate our methods, our motivations, and most of all our attitude when we go out to share our message. This way, when we encounter opposition we will view it as opportunity to share rather than becoming defensive.
“This is because experienced firefighters will not automatically accept what is being taught as fact but will require well presented information that is clear, concise, and constantly relates back to real experience” John McDonough
No matter our message we must take the time to consider those that we want to receive it. We must be firm in our beliefs: knowledgable, courteous, and well rounded.
So when we encounter opposition we can stand firm and work to share the message working for unity. Always leaving the doorway of discussion open so perhaps those that disagree with us may some day become our close friends and perhaps our greatest allies.
Consider Paul in the Bible as he was the greatest persecutor of the Christian church and went on to write a large part of the New Testament and founding numerous churches.
“The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy. And they praised God because of me.” Galatians 2:23-24
Til then, stand firm, stay true, and be courteous not condemning but always staying focused on the goal of positive change.
Andy J. Starnes
Bringing Back Brotherhood Ministries