Am I Your Enemy?
Galatians 4:16 – Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
Christians share in the blessed opportunity to share the Good News of Christ to the world. So many wonderful stories exist of lives which changed to the better because of the influence of the Gospel. Where hope did not exist, fullness of future expectation abides. Where confusion of purpose pervaded all that could be seen, clarity of life’s objectives came into view. Such is the power and direction of the mind of God when shared with hearts that will open. Sadly, not all hearts are open.
Some people of the world walk about clapping their ears and humming to themselves. They want to hear nothing, but their own world view. They do not understand God; other than superficially, they do not want to try. The truth is many of those who claim Christianity are the same (2 Timothy 4:3). Their mind stays closed to Biblical instruction. They would rather hear themselves wax esoteric than truly study and learn (2 Timothy 2:15). Therein, if they cannot express their thoughts, their opinions, and their conclusions, their behavior and thoughts turn into stewing, fretting, and composing their responses full of vitriol and degradation. Those suggesting they possibly consider a different thought become the enemy. Kind reaching out by others to truly engage dialogue, answer questions, or provide clarification is met with what appears to be preparation for battle rather than a focus on discovering unity. Along the side they gossip, slander, grumble, and hate (John 15:18). This behavior can be seen on most study forums, found on social media, and heard in the corners of places of worship.
Peter established there will be Christians who suffer by living and sharing the truth (I Peter 4:16). At times, it will come from the lost of the world. Sometimes this comes from countrymen (See Jeremiah and the prophets). Sometimes the conflict comes from reaching out to family in concern for their souls. At other times, the attacking will come from those that claim the same savior as you do – your spiritual brothers and sisters. You can choose to war with them or you can choose to respond with proper Christian behavior (Colossians 4:6; I Peter 3:1-2). If you choose to keep your distance, maintain your love for them (Matthew 5:44). Often with time, maturity, and plenty of heartache which commonly follows their behaviors, people realize their destructive behavior which they foolishly wielded and can change. We see this with young people who grow up and we see this with arrogant hearts which finally decide to listen. Remember, you are not the enemy unless you choose to be. Be strong and continue to share the truth (2 Timothy 4:2, Ephesians 4:14-15).