“Everyday Enemies”

Happy Thursday everybody! The week is nearing its end and I hope that it has been a good one for us. But sometimes we do have difficult days and challenges that make it hard to get through the week with a positive outlook, right? One of the possible challenges that can dampen our mood is when we find ourselves at odds with someone. If someone is mistreating us or constantly wants to argue and fight, it is hard to put on a smile and have a good day. Sometimes people don’t like us very much and they are going to find any way they can to make sure we know it. It doesn’t feel good. It hurts us. It angers us. The everyday “enemies” make us want to fight back. Fight fire with fire. It makes us want to get back at them and try to gain the upper hand.

But if we are following Jesus, is that how He wants us to respond to those who are opposed to us? Is that how He wants us to get through the week? The answer is no. Let’s remind ourselves of a couple Scriptures. In Matthew 5:38-48 Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Paul said the same in Romans 12:14, 17-20: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.'”

If someone is doing evil in some way to us, our natural tendency is to repay them with the same. Get them back for it. Don’t let them walk all over you. But Jesus Himself said to love them. Do the opposite of what they’re doing. They might be doing evil to you but you need to in turn do good to them. Paul said the same thing. Do not fight fire with fire. Do not repay them. Do not stoop to their current level. If we fight back with evil then we are no better than they are. And when we fight back it only adds fuel to the fire. We have to pray for those who are being mean and ugly to us. Do good things even in the face of their evil.

Someone may call us names and disrespect us. They might put us down and make us look bad in front of other people. They might not help us with our work or the tasks they should be doing. They may treat us harshly. We might be hated. Somebody could be ornery just for the sake of ruining our day. So what are we going to do? We have to fight the urges to spout off to them. We cannot let ourselves give in to their evil. Do not speak ill of them in turn. Do not try to ruin their day. Do not try to get the upper hand. Instead, humbly walk in the light of God and shine that light to others. Show them Christ living in you. Jesus faced a lot of evil people. But He kept His composure. He didn’t revile in return. Neither should we. Jesus was willing to allow Himself to die on the cross instead of fighting everybody. We should be willing to go to such great lengths so that we do not find ourselves fighting evil with evil.

Did I say it is going to be easy? Nope. We have to learn to do hard things. The things that God has called us to do. Live the way He has told us to live. To be holy as God is holy. If we are going to be perfect like God, then we have to learn how to deal with our everyday enemies.

Are you having to deal with some folks like this today? Or maybe next week? Whenever it may be, remember these Scriptures. Remember how God wants us to live and act. Remember that we were enemies of God. But even while we were enemies of God He sent Jesus to die for us so that we can be forgiven of our sins. Follow Jesus’ example and teaching. We can do it. One person at a time. Hang tough. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Live for Jesus. Do hard things. Do it on purpose. And choose joy. Even in the face of evil.


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