When the years click by as fast as a picket fence going 80 miles an hour on a 30 mile an hour road, I have lost touch with some, well most of, the bands of the current day. So, knowing that Public Enemy is a group out of California was information that I did not know. Nor did I know that, depending on the area of the city, county, state, region and country, the name actually attached to someone that is perceived as the biggest enemy varies. I mean, not too long ago, Lindsay Lohan in a conversation with Oprah declared that she was and is her “own worst enemy”.
The common ground for those statements is the word “enemy”, and just that word alone can conjure up some images of people/relationships in our lives that are either real and or perceived enemies. The question we have been asking ourselves over the past couple of weeks is “who are our enemies and why”? We aren’t just pulling this question out of thin air. Jesus, on several occasions, tells those that are willing to listen to love our enemies. (Luke 6:27) So, we asked everyone to pull their list out. You know, the list of people we have in our head who we have declared enemy numero uno, yet most of those individuals have no idea we have placed that label on them. And then we asked how many of us listed ourselves as enemies to ourselves. You don’t have to raise your hand, but if you’re anything like me and desire to live without a mask of “pretending”, then yes “I can be and am my own worst enemy” at times my name is on my list. But why? Or, why are the other names on the list? Now gang, Debby and I have the privilege of chatting knee-to-knee with lots of folks that have faced and are still facing horrific events that have occurred in their lives and truly are victims in the moment of the chaos. So, trust me, we do understand that there are people who truly oppose others (enemies). This is yet another reason to explore this even further as most who are dooking it out mentally with each other have said yes to Christ. We are on the same team, yet we have turned them in our minds into sons of Satan.
Let’s call a brief timeout to go to the why portion of our question. Is the reason the person (including yourself) tagged as an “enemy” true? What is the motive for the mental and sometimes physical whooping of ourselves and others when Christ woos us to love? What if we called that person up that we have tagged “enemy” and let them know what is roaring in our heart? Remember, most of those on our list have no idea, so in our silence, we are actually enabling the ongoing assault. So what if we applied the brakes and stated, “Hey, you know that I have realized that I am not and have not been 100% honest with you in our relationship, and by doing so there are areas in our relationship that are unhealthy. I ask forgiveness for not being honest and ask if I can share with you where I am?” Dang, what if? In our sharing we prayed before hand. If this person is a lover of Christ, and we too, then let’s allow the LIGHT OF CHRIST to shine and drive out the dark in the relationship. Are you serious, what if? And what if after we prayed and started the conversation by asking, “Are we for each other?” (motive)…and you believe it helps to apply the brakes even more and ask, “Why in the world did my mind go there with you?” Could it be public enemy number one was at the helm? Yourself…
Could it be that, if you don’t really like hanging out with self, then (we think) others won’t either? If we know that our motive is not always pure in our daily living of life with others, then wouldn’t or couldn’t that transcend into us transferring that same thought onto others, thus developing distrust (is that a word) and eventually turning folks into enemies?….Whew, that’s exhausting isn’t it? It’s more dizzying to me than being on the teacup ride at a carnival! Makes me want to puke hahaha. So what do we do, Bivo?
Have those conversations with each one on your list, and start cleaning your side of the fence. This means, let people know that they have been in a game they had know idea they were in when you mentally placed them in a category of enemy. We then start to show the “world” the love of Christ is how we have these conversations with each other. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have campfire chats devouring smores, but it will mean that you will no longer give someone other than Christ the authority that is HIS. It’s crazy, spooky for us to travel through these conversations, as I have had several, and will continue to in order to stay clean (no more hiding). I now know FULLY and understand why Jesus said, “I will send you a helper” (Holy Spirit) because, left to myself, I will not, but the HIM in me is BIGGER!
Let’s keep on showing a world that Christ is the difference-maker in how we love em up…starting with ourselves.
love em up!