Enemies are often people we haven’t yet met in a positive way. They are potential friends.
Have you ever come upon someone… in traffic… that you know. Only, when you meet them on the road, you don’t recognize their car… and they’re driving slow or doing something dumb. You get mad… maybe honk… maybe curse… and it is only as you pull around to get a look at the dummy, as you pass by, that you realize… hey that’s my coworker, teacher, or neighbor. Then, we feel bad… because we KNOW the person.
I am convinced that most ‘enemies’ we have are people we don’t know… and it’s in the ‘not knowing them’ that we count them as enemies. Think about it. On the road, we are far more forgiving and understanding when we know someone. We are less likely to get confrontational… more likely to give the benefit of the doubt. The same is true on the road of life.
When we don’t know someone… we feel like we can give’em hell. When we DO know someone… we feel like we should be a little more considerate.
Someitmes it takes an opportunity to step out of that comfort zone… to make a stranger more familiar to us, and in the process, make an enemy a friend. Early Christians did that wherever they went, regardless of the cost. Look at acts 16 (verses 25-28):
About midnight Paul and Silas [in prison] were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.
Paul, the enemy of the jailer, reached out to make him a friend. He didn’t have to, but he saw the opportunity. And for the jailer this made all the difference.
There is nothing more positive and powerful in this world than making a friend out of an enemy.
Do you have this opportunity?