Sunday, 1 June 2014

Love your enemies (or frenemies)

Romans 12:17-21 NKJV
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The scripture does not say that we should act like besties with those 'friends' who use us, are ungrateful and unappreciative of our goodwill towards them or are plain old haters of us, literal enemies. The term 'frenemies' I used refers to so-called 'friends' who disguise themselves as friends but are actually not on your side at all. Sometimes you need to stop trying to maintain certain bridges in your life and just let them go. Burn them. Don't hate on the person; love on them, but just do it from a distance.

Sometimes a person might be going through a hard time which is the root cause of their messed up attitude towards you but at the same time it is just not wise to try and mantain the relationship if all you put into it is your best and good things and all you ever receive from the relationship is bad, negativity, criticism, disrespect, etc... This is completely in reference to platonic relationships (friendships). Pray for that person. Love them. Bless them. But don't stick around for them to corrupt you and bring you down, because the enemy's strategy is to steal, kill and destroy us and you can't let him use a 'friend' to achieve that goal.

Remember, Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:12 that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Paul then goes on to instruct us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might and to put on the whole armour of God. So when somebody is causing you trouble in life, rebuke the enemy. Rebuke him. And rebuke him with the WORD of GOD. Put on the armour of God so that you can deflect the fiery darts he tries to throw at you through people sent to rid you of your spiritual gifts of love, joy, peace and temperance.

Always remember, he is trying to steal from you. The bible says that he is like a roaring lion, walking about the earth and seeking whom he may devour. Lions lie in wait for vulnerable, unknowing prey with no obvious defence against a predator. Which is why we need the armour of God and His Word as our defence. 1 Peter 5:9 says to resist him (the devil), STEADFAST in faith - we need the shield of faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

Furthermore, look at this phrase specifically: 'as much it depends on you, live peaceably with all men'. An excerpt from Lysa Terkeurst's book 'Unglued' explains this phrase well. She states:
'I can't control another person, but I can control whether or not I repay evil for evil. I can be careful with my actions. I can do what is right. But only as far as it depends on me - in other words, I can only make this progress on behalf of myself. I can't compel other people into this kind of progress if they aren't willing to pursue peace with me.'

She also states in another paragraph something that reiterates what I'm trying to say in this post in relation to FRIENDSHIPS; NOT in marriage or family relationships, but in relation to FRIENDSHIPS. 'If you try to establish healthy boundaries with a toxic person and the person continues to abuse,  criticise, threaten, tempt or harm you, it's time to cut off the toxic relationship. The right thing to do is sever the relationship to protect yourself'

I'd recommend anyone to read Lysa Terkeurst's book 'Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions'.

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