I learned about "loopholes".
This was the first loophole I saw and was when my mind was initially blown. Maybe I'm just a geek and no one will find the concept as fascinating as I did, but I'm going to attempt to explain it anyway. First let me share the initial definition of loophole...
: a small opening through which small arms may be fired: a similar opening to admit light and air or to permit observation
So tactically speaking a loophole is a small hole someone who was engaged in battle would slip their weapon through in an attempt to ambush the enemy while being protected from reciprocal fire. They were able to see out of it while remaining hidden and safe.
Once I was made aware of what these openings were, I began to notice them virtually everywhere we went. In a country which is currently known for its political and religious turmoil, it was amazing to recognize that there's not much new under the sun and this is obviously a centuries old problem.
There were loopholes in the cities, in the country and even on top of a mountain in the ruins of an ancient palace.
While the historical influence of these loopholes was fascinating to me, I couldn't help but be struck by the spiritual and linguistical influence of loopholes. Let's look at the second definition of loophole...
Do you see it?
Loopholes...ways we try and get out of commitments and covenants with no (or at least minimal) damage to ourselves or our integrity.
The problem with loopholes is that very often others DO get ambushed in the process and there IS much collateral damage. The other misconception about loopholes is that we can evade our commitments and all will be fine, but it is always with great detriment to our character and our integrity. It may seem like we get off scot-free, but there are lasting implications that cannot be avoided.
When we desire to honor the Lord no matter what, one thing we can always be guaranteed of is that we will encounter attacks from the enemy and opportunities to look for an easy way out. I want to be known, right down to the very end, as someone who will battle with courage and integrity and not always look for a "loophole" in order to protect myself.
God has given us spiritual armour to protect ourselves with on a daily basis...