Skip to main content
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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Temper Tantrum

Dear friends: A Temper Tantrum On a shopping trip to Aldi’s I noticed a mother with a girl who was two and a boy who was one sitting together in her cart.. The boy was having a temper tantrum. I know how embarrassing that can be. Besides she was just beginning to shop. So I thought maybe I could help settle him down. So I went over and tried to talk to him. But he would have nothing to do with me. So I just started talking to his sister. “How old are you? What’s your name? How old is your brother? . “What is his name? She replied “Noah.” Hearing his name the boy started to quiet down and pay attention. After some more question and answers the kids and I shook hands and said goodbye. Then we both did our shopping. We passed each other several times. The kids would say “Hi” and wave each time we saw each other. Then as we went through the checkout the mother remarked, “Thank you so much, what is your name?” the kids waved saying “Goodby…

Outside the Box

Dear Friends,       Outside the Box I am here to share about making peace with Isis nonviolently. I came to this in my quiet time when I first heard of Isis. My response was, “I’m a pacifist so I prayed, “Lord, they are such bad people the only thing I know to do is get rid of them. Bomb them.” I suppose Jesus’ disciples, and many people today like me, might have had a similar response.
So I prayed, “Lord, I’m a pacifist. Show me Jesus’ way, there must be a better way.”Lo and behold I just happened to be reading pages in the book The Powers that Be where Walter Wink says “for every conflict there is a nonviolent answer” I prayed, “Lord, I don’t believe it, show me.” Then what came to me was we need first to understand what creates Isis support, why they hate us, what makes people join these terrorists, and to find a good solution. What if you went home tonight and your house looked like this?

(I pass out this picture of homes bombed by drones) And your family was killed by a US drone? Wo…

A Nazarene Peacemaker and a Thief

Dear friends, A Nazarene Peacemaker and a Thief 3/4/19 “Would you turn that mirror in on your side in so it doesn’t get knocked off.” said Juan to me. He then added “I have to tell you a story about that mirror. I was at a stop light and a guy come up and just broke off the mirror. I saw police nearby so I told them.” “They went and found him and brought him to me. They said to me, well here he is you can hit him or do whatever you want with him. Beat on him as much as you want. I said I don’t want to beat on him. That just didn’t seem right. They then called and another policeman who also said go ahead beat on him this is your chance. That might straight him out.” “They then got a commander who brought a bat and said well now you can beat him go to it. I than talked to the fellow and found he was very poor and stealing things as a way to survive. So I felt he was already in a deep in a hole. I didn’t want to push him any deeper.” “The pol…