Know Who The Battle Is Really Against
2 Timothy 2:23-26 Don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, & be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap.
Growing up, a strong Christian family from my church had four boys who were all very athletic and intelligent. I admit, I was pretty jealous of them, mostly because their dad was a strong believer and discipled his sons on what real manhood was all about. I found reasons to judge their motivation in many different areas of life because of my own wounds. In a way, I made them the enemy because of my brokenness and bitterness. When I was in college the oldest son who was a high school teacher was accused of having sex with a student. I watched as this Godly family came around their son in prayer and support. I listened as they prayed for the teenage girl that accused him of this awful and sick misuse of authority. I watched as he lost his job and was torn down in the news media. Still I listened to their prayers for this teen who continued her accusations about this young man. As they continued to pray for years, this now young lady, saw for herself the kindness of this family that never struck back at her personally in interviews even as some things came to light that brought her story into question. Then it happened, she came out and admitted that she had been a troubled teen and wanted attention and that she made the whole story up. This family reached out to this young woman and her family because they had already forgiven her. The families are still connected in a loving way. Yes, the news finally reported the truth on the back page of the paper, but it wasn’t about them. It is a beautiful true story about understanding who your enemy really is in the midst of the spiritual battle we are all in.
How did Jesus treat the people who accused and opposed him? Did he find peoples weaknesses and expose them for all to see? No, even on the cross he said, Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing”. Guess what? People who attack you, the church and Christianity, don’t know what they’re doing. We also need to pray, “Father, forgive them” so that we can show love to them, even when we’re under attack. God will fill you with his love, and you’ll be able to love your enemies. Luke 6:27-28 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. We will have more energy to fight the real enemy when we love and forgive those who come at us in their brokenness and anger. Hurt people, hurt people, but we are set free physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually when we are able to forgive our enemies.