Thursday, February 25, 2010

Who Are My Enemies?

This Sunday we will finish our month long Olympic series here at Grace Church that we have been calling “Love: Go For The Gold” in which we have seen Jesus gold medal command to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind as well as the silver medal command to love our neighbor as ourselves. Last Sunday, from the story of the Good Samaritan, we looked a little further at what it means to love our neighbor which we defined as helping those we meet who are in need even if they are our enemy.

This Sunday we will look even further at what it means to love our enemies. But before we look at what it means to love our enemies we have to ask a more basic question…“Who exactly are our enemies?” I’d like to say I have no enemies but would that really be true? So, as I look at all the areas of my life, I have to ask myself, “Who really are my enemies?"

As a Christian, who are my enemies? Are atheists my enemy? Are those who are trying to take God out of every area of our society my enemies? What about Satan himself? Is he my enemy?

As an American, who are my enemies? Is Osama Bin Laden my enemy? Are radical Muslim fundamentalists my enemy? Is the leader of Iran, North Korea and the like enemies of mine?

As someone who is a political conservative, who are my enemies? Are political liberals my enemy? What about progressives? Are they my enemy?

As someone who holds to certain social causes such as being pro-life and believing that marriage is a union between a husband and a wife, who are my enemies? Are pro-choice activists my enemy? Are abortion doctors my enemy? Are gay-right activists my enemy?

As a fan of my favorite sports team, who are my enemies? As an Ohio State Buckeye fan, are Penn State and Michigan fans my enemy? As a Cleveland Browns fan, are Pittsburgh Steeler fans my enemy? As a Cleveland Indian fan, are the New York Yankees my enemy?

What about as a pastor? Who are my enemies? Are my critics my enemies? Are those who disagree with my vision and decisions, my enemies? What about those who have left the church? Are they my enemies? What about those who judge my motives? Are they my enemies?

What about in my neighborhood? Are there people who I have had some confrontations with? Would they be considered my enemy?

What about those who I thought were friends and colleagues who have betrayed me or misrepresented me or hurt me? Are they my enemies?

This Sunday we are going to see our need to love our enemies. But before we can show our enemies love we have to identify those people in our lives who we find it the hardest to love.

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