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Sharing #7
The gift of the enemy

The gift of the enemy is the theme of the 3 seminars I will be doing next week at the Cornerstone music and seminar Festival 7/1-5/03. Perhaps one of the most important question before us for our present time in history is how we will embrace the call to "Love our enemies",

A good litmus test to evaluate our religious and political leaders is how do they embrace this hard teaching of Jesus.

Jesus calls us to love our enemies, in order for us to be children of God, for God has it rain and shine on the good and evil and just and unjust alike. A point of solidarity with our enemies is in our common evil. We like they are a mix of good and evil, just and unjust. As we come to recognize these negative aspects of ourselves , do you notice how we tolerate and accept these things in ourselves? When we see this common ground with our enemies, then we can come to see our enemies sin much more objectively and even come to look at them with compassion.

Our usual way has been is to demonize our enemies and look at them as all negative.As long as we see them as all evil it is pretty hard to have any love for them.

All inclusive love is the goal that God has set for us. This needs to be our goal, even though, as we attempt to do this and our efforts are contaminated with our own shadow and is intermittent at times . With our efforts to reach this goal, God gives the power to do it.

Confronting our enemies always benefits us by transforming us, and it may even transform our enemies at times.

If we think we do not have enemies, we are probably deceiving ourselves. That was never a question for Jesus. He clearly seem to assume we all have enemies. And I think he was right. though a lot of the times I deny it.

I would like you to think about who your enemies are? Some possibilities might be at times , husband, wife, children, friends, religious or political groups, nations or systems. Write a number of them down.

Now write down their Characteristics? Are they rude, arrogant, hateful, mean, controlling,lying, not straight forward, cold, have a funny beard,demanding, always forgetting to turn off the light or put the cap on the toothpaste, or what ever it might be that makes you hate them.

Now think about which of these characteristics are part of things you or your group does at times. This is part of seeing the log in our own eye. As we come thus to see this common ground with our enemy, can you see how that might help us understand them , and even come to love and care for them.

As we come to see things from this point of view we can have a much more objective and compassionate view of their sin and much less vindictive in our approaching them. The enemy can give us the gift of transformation as we response to Jesus' call to love them. The end.


Please say a prayer that God would use this seminar to speak his word and that we could embrace that word. Pray also that we be open and loving as we talk with people we disagree with about peacemaking.

Walter Wink in the book The Powers that Be gave me some of the thoughts above.

Jim Fitz Tiskilwa, IL

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