The wrong way.
The real way to defeat your enemy is not the wrong way. We think of defeating someone as overpowering, taking control, taking charge, or annihilating them, like David with Goliath. Total control and total defeat of a foe, that’s what most folks think of when they think of defeating an enemy. To win in this way, the enemy is the one who controls our responses and our actions. We watch their next move, and move accordingly. Our strategy is based on their usual responses; everything we do is based on what they do. Even kids work this way.
“He hit me first, so I hit him back!”
“I would not have pushed him if he had not pushed me first!”
Every action is based on the actions of the enemy. We think that’s the way to defeat your enemy. Wrong, wrong!
Defeating your enemy is actually not a defeat if your moves are based on the enemy. We don’t need to shadowbox or watch what he does because defeating your enemy means you have your own strategy.
The real way to defeat your enemy.
In actuality, the real way and the best way to defeat an enemy is to do what Jesus said we must do. He modeled that when He walked that road to Calvary. Jesus took scourging for crimes He did not commit and forgave the ones who delivered the stripes. When He walked among righteous and unrighteous people in His hometown and surrounding areas, He showed us how to defeat our enemies.
The real way is not paved with inactivity. It allows no room for avoidance, for neglect, or for doing nothing. The real way is action – but a different action.
You do not have to tell me how hard this is. I know. It is one thing to become passive (or passive-aggressive, which is also not biblical) and wimp out on a relationship because retaliation is not an option. Which is easier: to ignore someone who hurts me (my enemy) or to move toward him by doing something positive for him? Every one of us knows the answer to that question. The latter is much more difficult because it is God-like.
Jesus doesn’t call us to do what is easy or convenient. He calls us to do what is right. In this case, He has a battle plan, and it has nothing to do with overpowering or annihilating someone.
The battle plan to defeat your enemy
An enemy is is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something. It can also be something that harms or weakens something else. Our enemy can be anyone or anything that sabotages us or our agenda.
Your battle plan must be different than most battle plans. That is because, for the Christian, your Commander has a different end goal. While the ideal goal is reconciliation, many times that does not happen. The plan of our Commander- in- Chief is to take care of our souls, and that affects the battle plan.
To defeat your enemy, this is what He says must not be done and what must be done:
- repay evil for evil [Proverbs 10:22] [Romans 12:17]
- try to get even – leave that to God [Romans 12:19]
- do things that bring discord instead of harmony (live in harmony with each other) [Romans 12:18]
- feed your enemy [Romans 12:20]
- if your enemy is thirsty, give him something to drink [Romans 12:20]
- return good for evil [Romans 12:21]
The last thing we want to do when we are hurting from an enemy’s blows is respond in a positive way. The last thing we want to do is bless our enemy. Yet, when we study what God says, this is one of the first things we must do.
We are to overcome evil with good. This is not passivity. It is will-action, and means we take deliberate steps to choose to do good.
If we’re honest, we know exactly what that means. Not only do we not return a punch in the face, we turn around and deliberately do something good for the person. We do not just ignore an infraction as if it didn’t happen; we make a conscious decision – and follow through – to return good to the person.
You do not have to tell me how hard this is. I know. You know something else? I also know that the more I do it, the easier it becomes. There’s a reason I know this. I have fleshed out my faith muscle by deliberately choosing to do something positive to or for someone, even when I did not want to. Sometimes it is a note or a text, and sometimes I have asked God to bless that person. Other times I’ve handed over a loaf of homemade bread, or offered to help in other ways, not because I felt like it, but because Jesus said if my enemy is hungry, feed him. He said I am to return good for evil. This is the only way I know to defeat my enemy.
Photo credits: Pixabay.com