My senior semester of school was going nice — my workload was comparatively mild, and I solely had lessons two days every week. I had loads of time for my mates.
However one factor was off. For the primary time since I used to be in center faculty, I hated a fellow pupil. I do know “hate” is a powerful phrase, however hear me out.
I simply don’t like her.
I met her once I was a junior and she or he was a freshman, and I disliked her virtually instantly. There was simply one thing about the way in which she participated at school and interacted with others that rubbed me the mistaken means. Additionally, in a few our interactions — some the place I used to be able of authority or had extra expertise — she was flat-out disrespectful.
My greatest pal and I spent lots of time within the final yr studying about our personalities (see her submit). Throughout this time, I discovered that usually you dislike an individual as a result of that individual, ultimately, reminds you of your self. Just a few weeks into the semester, after attempting to critically analyze my robust dislike for her, I noticed I did see items of myself in her. I felt like she was a extra outspoken model of myself three years in the past — positive of what she believes and judgmental of much less critical college students. I didn’t disagree together with her outspoken beliefs, I simply needed her to tone them down and present extra love (oh, the irony).
I’ve at all times thought-about myself a fairly loving individual, so I used to be shocked at how deeply I disliked her. I saved saying, “I can’t consider how a lot I … hate her!” I talked about it loads with my good pal, and we prayed that God would make me extra loving. I tended to vent endlessly about this lady, and it was enjoyable, however I knew it was mistaken.
Is she my enemy?
I learn Matthew 5:43-48, the passage the place Jesus mentioned, “Love your enemies and pray for individuals who persecute you.” I’ve learn this passage extra occasions than I can depend, however this time it stopped me.
How typically will we truly admit we even have enemies?
Rising up in a Christian household and college, I used to be typically instructed “don’t say you ‘hate’ somebody — that’s very robust language,” so I discovered to keep away from the phrases “hate” and “enemy.” However merely avoiding the phrases didn’t change my coronary heart angle.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines an enemy as “one which seeks the harm, overthrow, or failure of an individual or factor to which he’s opposed.” Certain, I wasn’t plotting to kill her, however I definitely hoped she wrote a horrible essay for that one class and did horrible on that check. Is my communication together with her adversarial? Not on a regular basis, however positive, generally.
And I noticed that in my coronary heart, she’s my enemy.
If I’m trustworthy …
Now, I do know viewing her as enemy isn’t OK. As Lysa TerKeurst wrote in “Uninvited,” “Bitterness, resentment, and anger haven’t any place in a coronary heart as lovely as yours.”
However by contemplating her an enemy, she’s now not in that nebulous class — the place we place folks we don’t like however don’t need to admit we hate. And by lastly admitting she is my enemy, it pressured me to take care of my angle. It has humbled me. It has allowed me to be trustworthy earlier than the Lord about my want for His forgiveness and power to beat this.
In the identical guide, TerKeurst supplied some useful ideas for coping with folks we contemplate our enemies. First, she reminds us that our enemy is admittedly the Satan. Certain, that individual might drive us nuts, however simply know that every one competition and preventing is finally sin and the Satan attempting to separate us removed from God. To fight this, TerKeurst means that we make a listing of excellent issues about that individual. Lastly, she reminds us to “rise above the circumstances and decide to carry on to the higher good within the grand scheme of issues: honoring God.”
So typically I’ve ignored that passage in Matthew simply because I didn’t contemplate my dislike of sure folks vital sufficient to contemplate these folks my enemy. Now, with trembling fingers, I’ve recorded this individual’s identify in my prayer journal, confessing that I view her as my enemy.
Has change occurred in a single day? Did my emotions of hatred all of the sudden flip to like for this individual? No, not but. However I consider that by confessing my sin in opposition to this individual, taking her identify to the Lord in prayer, and contemplating the nice she possesses, the Holy Spirit will work change inside me.
Jenny Rice is a spouse, pupil and author from Maryland.
Copyright 2018 Jenny Rice. All rights reserved.