Friend or Foe?#2. “Old Foes.’

Friend or Foe?#2. “Old Foes.’

Strangely, it may come as a surprise to some, that our Friends, and our Foes, really do define us spiritually. Some individuals just aren’t that likeable, and some of them stay that way for a very long time. Enemies are easy to make and easier still to hang on to. In fact, get to know someone well enough and you will discover that they may have a list of individuals who really don’t want to spend time with them. The length of this list may be more indicative of how they express their convictions, rather than the convictions themselves. There are rare individuals whose lists are non-existent, and others, conversely, who have lists of detractors too long to imagine an end.

When a Christian exclaims defensively, “As Jesus said, ‘Woe unto you when all men speak well of you,’” that does not automatically place all of his critics amongst the ‘false prophets who persecuted the fathers’ (Luke 6:26).

Old Foes, like Old Friends, don’t appear out of nowhere. They are created by time, effort, and circumstance. It is correct to assume that one is the result of years of goodwill, and the other of years tainted by hate. Old Foes should be non-existent within the Lord’s church. There is no place for anything toxic in the Body of Christ. We are to love our enemies by treating them as brothers and sisters – We promote no evil.

The same desire for peace is carried over to relationships outside the church. Any inability to reconcile with those outside the church must not be the fault of the Christian. Unbelievers must be put to shame by their inability to find any wrongdoing by the Christian.

Satan loves conflict, and the longer it persists, the happier he is. He rejoices when churches harbour members who proudly repeat their lists of people that they can’t get along with.

Those congregations ultimately go nowhere.

John Staiger

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