Skip to main content

Got any enemies?

Ever wonder how to get your enemies to settle down and live at peace with you?  I have and in fact, I have jumped through many a hoop I thought would "settle the pack", but in fact did nothing more than just entertain them - giving them more to poke fun at.  During a particularly challenging season in my life in my career, I learned something though.  In the darkness of that season, lasting about half a year, I was daily challenged as a leader, criticized for decisions made, and even received threatening and demeaning letters of accusation, some bordering on threats.  The times were challenging and I came close to throwing in the towel several times, almost thinking walking away was the best means to an end.  Yet, in the darkness of the hour, I learned something which I have held onto - my reputation may be criticized, torn apart, and even drug through the mud, but my "life" could not be challenged. Why?  Simply put - I chose to live my life in a manner pleasing to God - trusting my life would speak louder than any words in my defense.  The most profound defense I could muster would not compare with a life lived in alignment with God's Word, under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, and continually worshipful in his presence.  

When people’s lives please the Lordeven their enemies are at peace with them.  (Proverbs 16:7 NLT)

What had I learned in that season of testing?  

First, and probably foremost, I learned to not "manage" my own reputation, but allow God to manage it for me.  A life lived in alignment with his principles and committed to modeling the behaviors of a child of God was all I could muster some days - it was challenging enough in the face of such opposition, but absolutely necessary in order to not give up.  As long as my life was managed by him, my reputation was also in his control - regardless of what others might be saying or how they might be trying to mar it. Remember this - live for ONE and all the other voices you hear will not really matter in the long run.  ONE voice is strongest - ONE hand holds you the closest.  You don't "manage" your life - HE does.  You don't "manage" your reputation - it is made when you allow HIS life to be lived through you.

Second, the toughest battle was with my mind.  What I chose to focus on the most became key to how I handled the hurled accusations and demeaning criticisms.  It wasn't that "I" was strong, it was that "HE" was strong through me - to filter out those things which were untrue and to embrace those which were.  Even our worst enemies speak words of truth sometimes in their accusations and criticisms - so when I focused on Christ first, those words filtered through him - pointing out the truths right along with the untruths. Those things I could "own up to" and allow God to correct, I did.  Those things which I could not, I let go.  In choosing to focus on God's Spirit within to filter through those thoughts before they took root in my mind, I was ensuring an accurate "picture" of how things really were.

Third, peace is a matter of perspective, not a result of the circumstances you are in at the moment.  Although the circumstances create havoc and seem to disturb what some may view as "peace", peace is a determination of heart, mind, will, and emotions - get those in right alignment and others have less opportunity to disturb your peace.  Outwardly all kinds of unkind things were happening.  Inwardly all kinds of peaceful things were occurring.  Why? The determination of heart, mind, will and emotions to allow God to maintain my perspective - not me!  We get things all "balled up" whenever we try to maintain perspective alone - because emotions get involved, playing on our mind, impacting our will, and driving our heart.

Last, enemies are not always "made" - sometimes they just "are".  That might sound a little silly to begin with, but hear me out.  We cannot "make" anyone act a certain way - they choose to on their own.  Our actions may influence their decisions to act a certain way, but it is entirely their choice to act!  All we control is our actions - theirs are simply not under our control.  When we keep our focus right, we are not responsible for the actions of another - our lives are not to be fluctuating to match the perspective of our enemies.  We are to remain consistent and allow God to deal with their perspective.  Only he can turn their heads and hearts - not us!  Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce


When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us. We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledg

Give him the pieces

What or Who is it that causes division among you right now? Maybe it is more of a 'what' than a 'who' that is creating the division between you and something you need in your life. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction to something that keeps coming between you and true liberty from the hold that thing has on you. Yes, addiction is really the worst kind of enslavement one can imagine - being so emotionally or psychologically attached to the 'thing' that any attempt to break free causes so much trauma in your life that you just cannot imagine being free. But...God is above that addiction - he is stronger than the emotional or psychological pull that thing has in your life. Maybe the dividing force in your life right now is a 'who' - a tough relationship challenge between you and a coworker, a spouse that seems to no longer share your interests or values, or even a relative that doesn't understand some of your choices and now chooses to withdraw