Devil Dogs and Fellow Soldiers In Christ
At the Battle of Belleau Wood in France in 1918, the Germans described the ferocity and fighting spirit of the US Marines they were battling as tefel hunden, translated Devil Dogs. Devil dog is now a term of endearment in the modern Marine Corps. Many Marines will use it as a alternate term to ascribe to the other Marines in their unit, and some will use it as a motivator and method of praise.
In Philippians 2, starting in verse 19, Paul talks about some servants he hopes to send to the church there at Phillipi. Usually, unless we're looking for a historical context, we skip over these portions of scripture and discount them as just administrative verses, because, after all, Paul was writing a letter to someone, telling them what he was going to do, just as if you and I would send a text, an email, or make a phone call.
But in verse 25, Paul has some very high praise for a man named Epaphroditus. He calls him a brother, a fellow worker in the Lord, and a fellow solider.
I don't know about you, but if Paul would have called me a fellow solider in Christ, I would have seen that as extremely high praise.
I know as Christians we don't seek the praise of men, only the approval of God. But for Paul to call someone a fellow soldier, a fellow Devil Dog, would seem to indicate that he was doing what was approved of God as well.
Could Paul say the same thing about you? Would he, today, be able to give you such high praise? If not, then why not?