Today it struck me how often the Bible talks about having enemies. Isn’t that interesting? Sometimes I mistake the Christian life as a passive one. A people-pleasing, conflict-avoiding excuse to just be nice and (my favorite Christian culture phrase) “love on people”. Loving people is a gigantic part of knowing and imitating Christ. But so is taking a stand, when needed.
Paul and the early Christians faced a lot of opposition that I don’t have to in my 2018 American faith. And there is usually specific, cultural context when the Bible talks about enemies. So, I might not have a list of enemies in my lifetime, but I’m reminded not to be afraid of conflict in the name of the gospel.
I don’t think this happens often. I’ve been a Christian almost my entire life and can really only come up with one person who became a holy enemy of mine. Jesus had enemies, why did it devastate me so much when I experienced this? My eagerness to be liked was exposed, and I learned a lot about meekness.
Do you have holy enemies? Not the family member you disagree with politically, or the person you can’t stand (out of your own insecurities).
Do you love them well?
“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.” 1:27