Thursday, May 3, 2012

Enemies and Friends

Not everyone who mistreats you is your enemy. 
Not everyone who treats you well is your friend.

In the parable of the persistent widow, Luke 18, the judge relents and grants the widow her requests because she's been so persistent saying in 18:5 'yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.' Granted it's a parable Jesus uses to teach a lesson and not a relaying of a happening that occured, it's not too much of a stretch of the imagination to think this fictional widow could have thought the judge her enemy all along the course of time he wasn't granting her request.  
Then there is Jael.  Sweet, kind, hospitable Jael we read about in Judges 4.  When the commander of the opposing army in a conflict happening in that moment comes to her tent, weary, seeking respite, she invites him in.  When he asks for water, she gives him milk. Battle fatigued, he sleeps.  While he's being refreshed in slumber, she quietly takes a tent peg & hammer and bangs it through his temple, killing him. I would suppose he lay down his head counting his blessings he came across such a friendly camp. 

Not everyone who mistreats you is your enemy.
Not everyone who treats you well is your friend. 

Father, bless us with your wisdom, the nudges of the Holy Spirit to guide us through our days, navigating well the relationships we have.  Let us trust in You, not leaning into our own understanding when the nudges come and we don't know why we feel the way we do and maybe can't even put words around the sense of caution we have. Father, by your grace help us to be loving in this generation, showing your love in practical, everyday ways to all we bump into while it is still called today. 
In Jesus' beautiful name.

1 comment:

  1. This is so wise.... Thanks again for sharing your wisdom... And isn't there some verse about the wounds of a friend... Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful...