Enhancing On-going Ministry Through Equipping, Encouraging, and Interceding

How to Treat an Enemy

I don’t have many known enemies, an enemy being one “who is actively opposed or hostile to someone.” As a matter of fact, I may have more unknown enemies than known ones. Part of the reason may be because I basically like people – even those with whom I disagree. I find it easier to accept one with whom I disagree, than to reject someone because of a disagreement. Thus, I have friends with whom I disagree, and obviously friends who disagree with me. I try hard not to allow hatred into a relationship. Admittedly, they do bother me, irritate me, disturb me – these friends who could easily become enemies – and while I confess to hating some of the things they do or say, I am determined not to let them have any control over my life. Dale Carnegie was an American writer and lecturer and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement. His words are appropriate here: “When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness. Our enemies would dance with joy if only they knew how they were worrying us, lacerating us, and getting even with us! Our hate is not hurting them at all, but our hate is turning our own days and nights into a hellish turmoil.” Long before Carnegie, Jesus said to His disciples, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44). If you have a known enemy, try praying for them this week.

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