Friday, February 19, 2010

Relationships: Enemy

Relationship here for the overview.


"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." Luke 6:27-28

This relationship is the most broad. These are people that otherwise wouldn't fall into one of the other "relationships" we will be talking about. {see pic}. Now people either think this command is really easy because they have no enemies. Or people find it very hard because they do have an enemy and the last thing they want to do is love them. But none the less we are commanded by God to love our enemies. So lets start with the people who think they have no enemies.

When you see the word enemy think in terms of opposition. Not people that are necessarily personally opposed to you but people that are different than you. People that have different beliefs than you. People with a different theology than you. People that have different morals than you. People that are indifferent to you in any way. These are the people you are to love. Think on a global scale. These are not people that you have necessarily been in contact with or personally affected by; this is mankind in general. {we will get to neighbors in the next post}

Now loving these people does not mean you are in agreement with them. I think that is what scares people off the most. They think that if they love the enemy they have contradicted their own morals. Not true. God is not asking us to be in agreement, he is asking us to love. Look at the list below again of what love is.  It is not necessarily having an emotion or feeling for someone.  When we are to love our enemy it is more about not having a feeling.  You are not asked to feel warm and fuzzy inside but you are not to have feelings of hate or judgement either.  So in this case it is a relationship of neutrality. You don't need to ask them over for dinner{although if you feel to do that...great!}. You just need to not be in opposition. Once we move into a spirit of opposition against anyone the devil can step in and grab a foothold. We are not called to judge, we are called to be ministers of reconciliation.

"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation." 2 Cor. 5:18-19

Loving your enemies is being a light in the darkness. It is not contributing to the darkness by judging, hating or criticizing. You are not agreeing with them you are interceding for them. You are standing in the gap of their brokenness and loving them as they are. Hating them only contributes to the oppression that the enemy already has on them. That is not love and that is not what God has commanded us to do.

So the next time you turn on the TV and see some country blowing up another country; love them and pray for them. The next time you see a gay parade in your downtown; love them and pray for them. The next time you pass an abortion clinic; love them and pray for them. The next time you hear "wrong" theology on the radio; love them and pray for them. You are not agreeing, you are remaining neutral. Keep the door open in the spirit and you will be all the better for it.

Now what about the people who do have a personal enemy? Someone that has affected you. Someone has personally attacked you and you are pissed! Well I hate to break it to you...but it is the same thing. Forgive them and love them. Now again this does not mean you have to be best friends with this person. If you are able to work that out...fantastic. But I don't believe that is what God necessitates on a basic level.

Forgiveness is the key. Again you are not agreeing with what they did to you. You are simply removing your hands from around their neck. In doing that you are releasing yourself, in the spirit, from any involvement to the situation. Because as long as you have your hands around someones neck the devil has one around yours. Love breaks that bond! And forgiveness opens both of you back up to God. Then God can deal with the rest. You may not ever speak to that person again. I think that is OK. As long as you have left the situation in a spirit of love and forgiveness. If God is not asking you to do anymore than that, leave it at that. You have done what is required of you.

So to sum your enemy! Who is your enemy? Someone that has not personally affected you but someone that is in opposition to your belief system. Or someone that has affected you but you have no affection for them because of a personal opposition. We display love to our enemies by intercession and forgiveness if need be. This relationship is not personal. We should have no expectations from the other party. Feelings of love and forgiveness are often not reciprocated. Therefore there is no requirement for commitment other than to love and pray in the spirit. To keep the door open for whatever God may have in store.

In the next post we will move up one level in intimacy to the relationship we are to have with our neighbors. So stay posted.

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