Relating With Your Enemies (6)

Anything you give attention to will appreciate. If you give more attention to your spouse, he or she will become a better person and you will enjoy your relationship better. If you give attention to your job or business, you will become better at it and you will make more income or profits. Likewise if you give attention to your enemies, they will become more and more powerful. Rather than giving attention to your enemies, give attention to your Maker, who is also the Maker of your enemies, and He will cause them to be at peace with you.

The Law of Attention is real and applies in every area of our life. Stop giving unnecessary attention to your enemies, rather give that time to God. Try praising and worshiping God instead of engaging in long prayers against your enemies.

As we conclude this series today, we will look at how to relate or interact with your enemies.

There are some enemies you need to keep afar, even though you can be praying for them and sending them gifts or goodwill messages. You need to keep them afar until God touches their hearts because they can wreck physical harm. Joseph and Mary were instructed by an angel to take baby Jesus away from Bethlehem of Judea to Egypt. You sometimes need to avoid contact with the enemies.

Some enemies must be drawn close so that you can win them over with love. Love is God and God is Love. Nothing wins an enemy over more than love. Remember Mahatma Gandhi’s quote of yesterday. Shower them with love and their heart will eventually melt towards us. They may become more angry initially, they may envy you more, but eventually they will be broken. This was Nelson Mandela’s principle, that stood him out as a legendary leader before and after his demise.

Some other enemies need to be listened to, because they say the truth about you, though sometimes exaggeratedly nonetheless the truth. Such could be critics in workplace, business, ministry, government or politics. Listen to their message and not the messenger. Their messages are sometimes laden with truths and if you pay attention to it, you will become a better person.

Finally, some enemies require to be told the truth. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. Prov. 26:5. They hate you because they are ignorant of the truth, so tell them the truth so that they may learn.

In conclusion, be sure that you are not consciously or unconsciously becoming an enemy to others too. Sow more of seed of love and you will find love always coming back to you.

God bless us all.

Good morning!

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Relating With Your Enemies (5)

As we begin to round up on this series, my hope is that you have been able to pick one or two things that will make your life easier.

Today, we will discuss what should be done to our enemies and I think this is the toughest part because it runs contrary to some of our long held beliefs.

1. Forgive them. Tough isn’t it? Well if God relates with us on the scale of righteousness, none of us can stand, yet He forgives us whenever we ask Him. Don’t carry unforgiveness in your heart, it is toxic for your heart and body, and it is too much burden. You forgive enemies for two reasons. One, so that we can be freed, because whoever is hurt and still holds on to the hurt is the real victim. The offender may just be having a swell time, maybe he doesn’t even know! Two, we cannot secure forgiveness from God if we don’t forgive others, and without His forgiveness you cannot enjoy His blessings.

2. Make friends out of them by reciprocating with love. Abraham Lincoln said,  ‘Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.’ When they are accusing you, criticizing you, sending wicked arrows your way, send them love packages in form of messages, prayers, gifts and even commendations. You can win many of your enemies over if only you could try the love strategy. Mahatma Gandhi said it better, ”whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.”

3. Pray for them. Prayer is one of the most potent weapons to conquer your enemies. Start praying that your enemies will repent from today. Truly, there are people we referred to as unrepentant enemies, but God knows how to handle such. Those meant for destruction will meet their destruction. Let God fight your battle, you just please Him. Pray that God will turn their hearts from their wickedness. Pray that the nature of God in them will be brought to the fore. Pray against the wicked spirits operating through them. Render their plans useless in the place of prayer.

Tomorrow we will conclude by looking at how to relate with our enemies.

I will end today’s discussion with this great quote from Mahatma Gandhi. ‘It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.’

God bless us all.

Good morning!

Relating With Your Enemies (4)

The intention behind this series is not to make us toy with enemies or be careless with them. The purpose is to equip us with proper understanding of who the enemies are, why we have enemies and how to handle them. Today we will discuss on why we have enemies. Why can’t we just be free of enemies?

First, let me make a startling statement, without enemies you cannot succeed. Yes, without enemies you cannot reach your goals. A man without enemy is either dead or not living (alive but not doing the right things). “A man with no enemies is a man with no character.”  – Paul Newman. Sydney Sheldon makes it clearer, he said “To be successful you need friends and to be very successful you need enemies.”

Enemies push you to raise your standard of work. They compel you to raise the bar. Nothing has revolutionized our business world more than competition. They force you to work harder. They force you to be more careful. Whether in your family, career, business or ministry, enemies sharpen your senses. You plan better. You strategize better. You pray and fast more. You pay attention to details better than if there was no critic. You double check your work and facts before presenting it for appraisal. If all you have around you are aye-sayers, then you are being deceived.

Even in the military, how did the world become so knowledgeable of inventing highly sophisticated weapons of war, whether biological, chemical, nuclear or physical? It is because of the presence of enemies. While we may not support the use of some of these weapons, the point is that the enemies force you to think innovatively.

Sometimes also, enemies are in our lives to help us towards our journey. Without the antagonism and hatred of Joseph’s brother, he wouldn’t have become the Prime Minister of Egypt. If there was no Goliath, how would the Israelites have discovered David? Many examples abound in our world today of people who rose through adversities to success stories. Steve Jobs, Abraham Lincoln, Ben Carson (who was always taunted in his neighborhood), and many others.

In summary, enemies are allowed in our lives for the following purposes :
1. To sharpen us
2. To push us to our destinies
3. To reveal our weaknesses and flaws
4. To strengthen our character
5. To humble us and make us realize the need for help

So instead of asking for no enemies, ask for strength and wisdom to confound your enemies.

God bless us all.

Good morning!

Relating With Your Enemies (3)

Having established who ‘an enemy’ is and who ‘the enemy’ is, it is further important that we know the different types of enemies so that we can relate with them correctly.

There are basically two types of enemies in life, namely Internal and External Enemies.

Internal enemies are enemies within your household, your company, your business, even within you. This is the most dangerous type of enemy, because they can wreck much havoc without you knowing. Micah 7:6. They can sell your trade secrets without you knowing. They organize people’s murder without the victims ever knowing. Such enemies are like the biblical Judas. If you tolerate them, they can kill you.

Surprisingly, you can be one of your internal enemies. A man’s worst enemy is himself. Your habits, attitudes and disposition to life can obstruct your way to greatness. Just like you won’t tolerate any of the other internal enemies, you must not tolerate anything in you that can hinder your progress. Deal with those harmful habits ruthlessly, don’t spare them.

You need to be sensitive to discern internal enemies. Sometimes, you can identify them by the amount of interest they have in you. They are always seeking information about what you are doing. Be careful with what you divulge. Internal enemies work with external enemies based on the information they get from you. Samson became an easy prey for the Philistines because Delilah already supplied all the necessary information. Don’t be careless with your plans, secrets, gifts or talents.

External enemies are those outside, who often strike based on the connivance of internal enemies. Without the support of internal enemies, external enemies hardly succeed. The reasons why we fall prey to witches or wizards is because our greatest internal enemy (self) creates an opening. If the hedge is not broken, serpent cannot strike. When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes EVEN his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7

Your victory against external enemies starts with your victory over internal enemies. You will not be a victim of internal enemies.

God bless us all.

Good morning!

Relating With Your Enemies (1)

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.

Good morning!

Relationships that Matter (2)

The next most important relationship you need to maintain, after your relationship with God, is your relationship with your family.

Family can be Nuclear or Extended. Both are important, but you must tend your Nuclear family very well. A nuclear family is made up of father, mother and children, while extended family covers all other relations.

Your family is your first back up when things go wrong. They are your pillars. You must take time and care to cultivate your relationship with your family. ‘The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family.’  –  Lee Iacocca. When everybody deserts you, the only people that will be left are your family members. This means you also have to be there for your family members during thick and thin. Be committed to them.

Sometimes you may have difficult family members, and dealing with them may be stressful, but you need them just like they need you. So you need patience, wisdom and a lot of tolerance to manage such difficult ones. Honor your parents and take care of them. Love and respect your spouse. Don’t give them any reason to doubt your commitment to them. Friends may leave when the going gets tough, but it is not easy for family to leave. Blood is thicker than water, as the saying goes.

Nothing hurts more than being deserted by family members when one is experiencing difficulties. It means you also must watch the seeds you are sowing, because it will surely come back to you. Cherish your family and they will always be there for you.

God bless us all.

Good morning!

Just Before We Round Up

After concluding the series yesterday, one of my mentors reminded me of the importance of three expressions in marriage, and I consider it important to share this before we move on to another topic.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a picture of silver. Proverbs 25:11. When you speak right, your words will bring life. Words are powerful. They can kill and they can restore life. Certain words carry great potency, especially in Marriage.

One of such expressions is ‘I love you’. Most men are guilty of forgetting this expression after a few years in marriage. We are primarily the guilty party as men, myself inclusive. We often hide under the excuse that ‘but she knows I love her, even if I don’t say it’. Another excuse is that ‘if I keep telling her everyday, it might get into her head.’ We also feign ‘busy-ness’ saying ‘I am thinking of how to make money here’. Listen, these are all excuses. There is nothing wives desire more than to be told by their husbands that they are loved. It gives them sense of safety and security. They reciprocate this back in many ways. Don’t just act out love, say  ‘I love you’ to your wife regularly.

Another expression is ‘Thank you’. This is very difficult for some people to say. Maybe it is pride, sense of ingratitude, or dissatisfaction, whatever the reason, you must do away with it. Always appreciate your spouse with the words ‘Thank you’. Thank him for the gifts, for the money provided, no matter how small. Thank him for helping in house chores. Thank your wife after every meal. Thank her for looking after the home. Thank her for being a mother to you all. Just be appreciative. Show your appreciation with words, actions and gifts.

Finally, saying ‘I am sorry’ can save you a whole lot of headache. We already discussed this in the series. Learn to accept and admit when you are wrong, and apologize sincerely. Sometimes, even when you are right, you may need to admit the wrong, for peace sake. Apply wisdom.

God bless us all.

Good morning!