“O grant us help against the foe,
for human help is worthless.”
~Psalm 108:12 (NRSV).
Relationship problems are seemingly never ending, and this is mainly because our intent is naturally wrapped up so much in our own security, and if it’s not our own then it’s perhaps the other person who reads into things that aren’t there.
Communication, then, seems a thing never to be mastered. The blockers to real rapport, toward congruence of interactive souls, are certainly woven into a fabric of mystery of life at large.
We All Have ‘Enemies’
This is not a fact that we’re generally adept at acknowledging.
If we were to consider the people who may’ve perhaps hurt us, or those likewise that we’ve hurt (those who consider themselves hurt at our stead), we can quickly note potential for viewpoints targeting enmity.
This is a bit of an innocuous way of dealing with the concept of enemies. It’s got subtle, insincerely gentling and unwritten connotations. It flails trust and respect is notional at best.
We should be able to see, then, that if we have even the slightest of strained relationships—and anyone purporting not, ever, is almost certainly lying—potential for ‘enemies’ is real.
One thing we don’t often think of, however, is we cannot genuinely afford these ‘enemies’.
(Can it now be seen from this position that even those in our own families can become situational enemies, because they and we can at times be at odds with one another?)
Resolving Issues Involving Enmity
If we accept this premise, we can now do something godly about it—so far as it depends upon us. We are empowered in this.
It is a willed thing that we extend the love of grace to someone who’s at odds with us. Even if there’s no issue on our side of things, we have a responsibility to extend grace to them absolutely free of encumbrance—as God does with us. (This is not the same as trusting people who continually hurt us.)
Without encumbrance? Yes, an extension of grace ‘without cost’ is the only way. We have no expectations of the returned favour; indeed, if we did it would not be love.
Per Ezekiel 36:2, even if the “ancient heights”—those considered to be ours, granted by God—were to wind up in their hands, we would be best positioned to surrender same with glee!
“When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.”
~Proverbs 16:7 (NIV).
This is the depiction of an outrageously courageous faith, of course. One that God always ends up blessing if we continue sowing in faith.
The basic truth is none of us can afford—so far as it depends on us—to retain the slightest enemy. We’re blessed to always be working on making friends with our existing and burgeoning enemies by engaging neutrally with them, and in grace.
According to the quote at top, this is enlisting God’s help, for it’s something we cannot do for ourselves.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.