“Got your 6” is a term that was coined in World War 1. A pilot would say this to a friend to share his commitment to covering his back if an enemy managed to get on his tail during a dog fight – a situation that would make him defenseless. The symbolism of a clock is used by military personnel to help get a fix on the location of something. Imagine standing in the middle of a large clock. If something is at your 3, it’s to your right. Something at your 6 is directly behind you, where you have little chance to recognize its presence.
Seeing this promoted on TV last week was great timing for the teaching on Colossians 3 that I gave yesterday at Living Hope Church in Conneautville and Springboro, PA. The apostle Paul is telling the early church that the Christian community is a group of people who are supposed to work together in this spiritual journey thing as we’re being transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ. We all have blind spots with regard to sin, so we all need someone to have our 6. A major barrier to this is our inability to take criticism – especially in our politically correct society.
We need to create an atmosphere in our Christian community where we depend on other people to let us know when we’re not measuring up in some way; when either the Evil One or our own apathy has us in the crosshairs and we unaware. If that’s going to be possible, we must commit to being a place where it’s okay to make mistakes – where humility rules and the community is free of unhealthy pretenses. If I’m not spending enough time with my family, I need someone to tell me because that’s something I probably can’t see for myself. But because we don’t like to receive criticism, we don’t give it well either. As a result, even though we’re surrounded by fellow Christians, we needlessly tip-toe through minefields on our own. I believe this is the most difficult thing for a church to get right.
It’s a tough thing to do, but that’s what community is all about. Can you honestly say to everyone in your church: “Got your six.”
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:12-17)