Today, we live in a world full of fearful and hate-filled people. We are full of suspicion and distrust for our friends, neighbors and family members. When things go wrong, we are quick to point at someone as being responsible. We have made enemies out of ourselves. To worsen matter, our religious bodies encourage us to pray ‘fall and die’ prayers for our so called ‘enemies’. For those who pray, 60% or more, of their prayer points are directed against known and unknown enemies. I wonder if the pattern of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ has become obsolete and irrelevant for our time.
This series is to help us have proper understanding of how to relate with our enemies. We will look at the following subtopics in the course of this series:
1. Who is an Enemy?
2. Who is the Enemy?
3. Types of Enemies?
4. Why do we have enemies?
5. What should we do for our enemies?
6. How do we relate with them?
Today, we will look at ‘Who is an enemy?’ An enemy is someone who hates, attacks, persecutes unjustly, antagonises, or works wilfully against the progress of another. An enemy naturally envies and wishes that you don’t succeed at whatever you are doing.
An enemy can employ any means to achieve his purpose of thwarting your plans. He can apply physical means by trying to harm you. Or he can attack you spiritually. An enemy can also organise criticisms and spread false reports about you. An enemy can even make attempt to kill, if he sees you as a major threat to his own plans, especially in politics.
However, we need to understand also that most of the people we classify as enemies are in our lives to make us better persons. Sometimes in our career, we work with certain people who are difficult to please and delight in criticizing any work done by others. They can be supervisors, colleagues or even subordinates. We sometimes pray that they lose their jobs or be transferred. Often become so hateful of such people. They are sometimes competitors.
Critics, opposers, rivals or competitors are not necessarily enemies. As a matter of fact, you need them more than your friends, because they usually tell you the truth about yourself or your work. Friends don’t like to rock our boats and will shy away from pointing out our weaknesses. But your critics will force you to be at your best always and to always take your best foot forward.
Baltasar Gracián said, ‘A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.’ Your life will be dull and unchallenging, if you don’t have them in your life. Stop asking your critics and rivals to die, you need them more than your friends.
We will continue tomorrow. God bless us all.