Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Free To Have Enemies

Sounds weird huh? What I mean is this. I’m not sure why but sometimes people feel the need to pretend that now that they’re Christians, they love every one and life is perfect.

Well, I can attest to the fact that life is immeasurably better now that Jesus is Lord of my life. But to say that everything is perfect and that I don’t struggle with relationships would be a flat out lie. Jesus warned anyone who was considering becoming His follower that becoming a Christian would bring on a whole new set of problems in addition to the ones that life already brings our way. Why else would Jesus tell us to love our enemies if becoming a Christian meant that we wouldn’t have any enemies? “If they hated Me they will certainly hate you as well,” Jesus warned.

We don’t have to pretend that everyone is our friend, or even that we like every one. We do however have to treat people with respect and dignity. God wants us to be honest in how some people are just plain difficult to be around. Jesus says, ‘I know what it’s like to be hated and here is how I want you to respond. Don’t be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” The apostle Paul who, like the other apostles was taught directly by Jesus says, “Don’t pretend that you aren’t angry. Deal with your anger. Settle the issues quickly before sinful behaviour settles in.”

Only when we are free to admit that we have enemies are we also free to accept God’s direction for dealing with those who don’t like us and who are out to destroy us. The freedom to admit that we have enemies is to gain the freedom for God to work in and through our weakness.

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