Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

recognizing and dealing with enemies



Many of us seem to take the admonition of Jesus to love our enemies as a reason to love having enemies. Enemies and our struggle them against them easily becomes our life's mission, our very purpose and passion. The resulting sense of eternal conflict, anger, and fear are the motional sustenance of too many lives. If not for the urge to condemn and oppose others, we would feel empty and unfulfilled.


Admittedly most of us balk at the words of Jesus, reasoning that it is dangerous to turn the other cheek. How can I reasonably be benevolent to someone who is committed to my destruction?


Perhaps there is wisdom in approaching this issue from a new prospective. Instead of struggling to treat enemies differently, maybe we need to quit labeling others as enemies in the first place. No one could reasonably deny that we tend to fabricate enemies in our minds out of entire groups of individuals who differ from us in their beliefs and opinions. This compulsion only multiplies the "enemies" we need to love in accordance with Jesus. 


Some people actually wish us ill and may act accordingly. That notwithstanding, we don't help ourselves by constantly searching for new enemies or allowing others to identify new ones for us. The mere act of considering another as a potential enemy, actually works toward making mutual animosity a reality. My attitude can manufacture real enemies, ad infinitum.


The wise man has said that the best way to deal with an enemy is to make him a friend. I think this is what Jesus had in mind. The first step in loving my enemies is to quit making enemies. I may want to insist that I don't make my enemies; they make themselves my enemy. I have to wonder though, if a man can be my enemy, if I don't allow him to be. What is the real difference between viewing another as an enemy and actually making them my enemy? Perception becomes reality.