2 Timothy 2:24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
No mortal is my enemy. I know, that’s very Kumbaya of me…. and I know that there are mortals who would consider me their enemies. So what? Other peoples’ folly isn’t supposed to control *me*, is it? I know my enemies. And my hatred is saved for them. (And oh yes, I do hate – I hate the spirits of darkness with every fiber of my being).
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
If they are human, if they yet draw breath, they have the potential to become family, siblings in Christ. No matter how horrible a sinner, Christ died for them. I will *not* stand in their way. This is hard. It has to be a decision, not an emotion. To stand for what is true and right – and simply stand, without attacking those who might one day come to join me, oh… that’s very hard. And if it’s hard for me, who am a gentle soul, how much harder must it be for others?
I hate how things are going in my country. I hate the divisions. The people yelling at one another, the lies, the half-truths, the twisted news, the endless slander… it’s disgusting. It’s as if those who are throwing words-as-stones have never read a history book, as if they don’t know what comes next…
Civil War. Cultural Revolution. Genocide. Generations of divisions in families, communities, countries.
I’m not blind. I’m not stupid. And I’m literate – I read the end of the Book. I know what happens. I know the build up won’t be pretty. Labor pangs take a long time to come to fruition. Weird things have already happened, and they’re not going to stop happening.
So. Speak up, speak truth. Stand up, stand on the Rock. But remember to let your speech be grace seasoned with salt – not the other way ’round.
Every one who would be labelled my “enemy” is just another human, caught in a web of sin. I have no right to stand between them and my Savior. My choices have eternal consequences, and so do yours.