I was with a group of women when the conversation turned serious. As we discussed various situations going on in our lives I noticed a theme. When there was a painful, hurtful story there was always a villain. Each situation was different, so the identity of the villain varied, but a thought washed over me: We've gotten mixed up. It is sin that is the real enemy...not people.
I know the phrase 'Love the sinner, hate the sin.' I understand it in terms of grace. Yet, when it comes to conflict I think it is tempting to forget that our earthly enemies are sinners (as we all are) caught up in the mess of their sin. It is tempting to forget because this way of thinking is easier. Thinking (much less talking) about the Devil feels a little extreme. Yet, Paul addresses this is Ephesians.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 NIV
The key to winning any battle is to know your Enemy. I get that mixed up sometimes. I like to put a face on my adversary...and while, yes, there are people and relationships that I believe it is best to avoid or enter into very cautiously, I want to be careful about making any person my enemy.
My enemy is The Enemy. The Father of Lies. The Devil. He comes to kill, steal and destroy.
May I not get confused about who the real enemy is in this fight--and may I cling to The One who is victorious for all eternity.