Enemy Mine

His careless style of driving nearly put us in a ditch. There we were on our way to town, when out of nowhere came the fancy red mustang weaving in and out of both lanes while maintaining a speed much above the posted limit. I glanced over as the flash of red passed me, just in time to realize he’s coming into my lane before clearing our car! My spectacular show of driving skills would have made Jeff Gordon drool. Okay, Okay! I hit the brakes and pulled over into the emergency lane.

My immediate response was, “Follow that car!” So I did. Fortunately, he wheeled into a minute market just up the road. Now’s my chance!

I approached the driver’s side door before he could get out of his vehicle. He rolled down his window with a frustrated look of anger for my bothering him. I said, “Hi friend, my wife and I would like for you to have this fifty dollar gift certificate to Red Lobster.”

Think this sounds absurd? Writing me off as one of those whose elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top? Take caution before doing so. What if I told you followers of Jesus Christ are commanded to respond in this manner?

In the days when Paul penned his letter to the Romans, believers were facing trials much greater than being cut off in traffic. Their property was being stolen from them, their children were being kidnapped and sold into slavery, and they were literally being killed for their faith in Jesus Christ.

So when Paul wrote to encourage them, how did he do so? Did he see their great persecution and remind them a day was coming when they would find relief and comfort? Yes! But he also didn’t neglect to tell them something else about their enemies.

He told them to bless and do good to those who were persecuting them. He told them to feed them and give them something to drink. He told them to love them and meet their needs. He said, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)

Seriously Paul? Really! These people are being killed over here… and you want them to give grace in response for their persecution?

I’ll be honest. Commands like these don’t even make sense. Well, until I realize their purpose. Paul’s message here is, “Look like Jesus.” He is saying, “When the world won’t listen to Jesus, show Him to them.

Isn’t this just what Jesus did? When we were God’s enemies, always doing what brought glory to ourselves while robbing Him of it, sold into the slavery of our sin, how did He respond? He returned the good of grace for our evil. He laid down His life for us!

Loving those who offend us most is a privilege to reflect God’s grace to others, where it is needed. Blessing those who curse us is an opportunity to look like Jesus. So on your next trip to the restaurant, don’t forget the gift certificates.

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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29 Responses to Enemy Mine

  1. jonocingram says:

    Hey MT… great post. Do good and love and pray from those who mistreat us… but in the words of Ghandi (if I may), ” An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” I just happened to blog about this very idea of forgiveness and doing good as opposed to bitterness and quoted this same passage in Romans: http://jcingram.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/bitterness-anger-forgiveness-reflection-in-ephesians-4-part-2/

    Cheers MT. Thanks for the reflections


  2. granbee says:

    Loving the unlovely–and with healthy seafood, to boot! Hooray for you guys!

  3. literary lew says:

    Interesting. You brought to mind a personal incident about giving that I need to blog about, one in which I grossly failed to follow through with my charitable impulse. I’ll try to offer this real soon.


  4. cc says:

    Seriously, dude…I haven’t yet recuperated from “Dear World, Please Hate Me”…you are pouring salt into open wounds. Sigh. Also received a blog about the following article in Texas newpaper…showing the other side of the story….http://www.athensreview.com/local/x223905209/Atheist-flabbergasted-at-Christians-assistance.

  5. My dear friends,

    You’ve pointed out one of the most painful and difficult parts of being a Christian. Thanks so much!

  6. loopyloo305 says:

    Great Post MT! Wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award. There is no obligation but if you would like to pick it up, please visit My Blog at http://loopyloo305.com/2012/03/22/kreativ-blogger-award/

    • mtsweat says:

      Thank you, Patricia. You are a true blessing and encouragement. I’ll definately venture over for a look. God bless, good friend.

  7. hankcr says:

    I do believe that you have described two different scenerios here. The driver was not persecuting you for your faith but was endangering your family by being stupid. Stupid people will not learn if we continue to give them a pass on their stupidity. Now as far as being persecuted for the faith I think you are correct, but at the same time we don’t give a blank check to our persecuters. I would be neglecting my duty as a father and husband if I allowed Christ haters to rape and murder my family in the name of “loving my enemies”. Remember, neither Christ nor His Father always “turned the other cheek” and neither will they in the future. The trick is to know when to turn and when not to. 🙂

    • mtsweat says:

      I see your point Hank… but how do I determine if he was responding to my ‘I Love Jesus’ bumper sticker or just being a bad driver? 🙂 Thanks friend!

    • KingdomofGodservantv4 says:

      In that case the best thing is not to take revenge, and that is what is meant by turn the other cheek because God will have vengeance sevenfold for those who hurt His beloved children. If you read Judges 19 and 20 about the woman, you’ll find that God did not get back at the perpretators until the Book of Hosea, and He is Justice so He will bring judgment upon the wicked.

  8. It doesn’t make sense to our human logic, but we know from experience that it does work. Kindness evaporates anger – on both sides. All we need to do is take the first step (THAT is the hard part) and God will do the rest.
    Easier said than done.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  9. writinggomer says:

    Ouch is right! This is a hard truth to digest. Thanks for a great truthful reminder of how we are to be.

  10. Jeff Gordon, huh? 🙂 Did you by any chance see my 3 posts on Jeff and my prayer life back in February?

    More seriously …. I have been learning a good deal lately about loving those that persecute and intend evil. I have to admit, it gets easier with time. I wanted to dig in my heels; but instead gave the anger and bitterness to the Lord and asked Him to fill me with His love for those involved. He did and I am now able to pray for them and really mean it. I can even ask for Him to deal with them with mercy and love, which is way different from where I was before.

    Thanks for this post.

  11. Steven Sawyer says:

    So, did the driver take your gift card? :>)
    Thanks for reminding me what Jesus said about how we are to treat our enemies. It’s a tough one. I’m sad to say I scorn my enemies or criticize them fare too often.

    • mtsweat says:

      Thanks, Steven. It is, of course really easy to write posts like these… it’s an entirely different story to live them. Because it is our nature to preserve our status and reputation and stuff… our first response to any attack is attack back. It’s as though our joy hangs on a string attached to our pride and ego, and when someone clips that string… As you are well aware, our joy should be in Christ! God bless, good friend.

  12. SPTP2011 says:

    Ouch! But a Wonderful Reminder where our hearts should lay
    Prayers for your day

  13. isaiah43123 says:

    This reminds me of what my father would tell us growing up, “Kill ’em with kindness.” Doing the unexpected with the heart of Christ will get their attention.
    Keep the Faith!

  14. This really is a prickly truth. Not very easy to handle. Ouch!

    Loving our enemies goes against everything that is within us. But if we really understand our sin and the gracious gift that we have been given in Christ, this is exactly what we will long to do. We won’t have to drum it up, or just go through the motions, the Gospel will work itself from the inside out and we will find ourselves loving the unloveable.

    What we have received from God for the sake of His Son is not only undeserved but ill deserved. Lord, help us to live in the reality of this!

    Sorry for the long response. I’m always more wordy early in the morning. =) Thanks for the post.

    • mtsweat says:

      Thanks, Terrie! Great comment and point. The Gospel not only gives us grace, it gives us the desire to respond with grace… even when we face offences and persecution. But as you said,… ouch!

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