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It’s been said that we’re all in a war, we’re just not all fighting.  I think that’s true.  We’ve all got things we’re struggling with, and that’s not bad, as long as we’re continue to struggle and not give in.  We may realize that our speech is unpleasant, or food may have become more than “our daily bread” to us, or we may neglect to do good when it is in our power to do so.  If we know these things and try to do better, then we’re struggling.  Bravo!

But how often do we see others as our enemy?  “He makes me so mad!” Is that true?  Can another person really have that kind of power over us?  I suppose he can if we let him.  But then it seems to me it’s our choice and not really him that is the source of our anger.

But what would it look like if we recognized that we all have a common enemy?  I can say with confidence that we’d be more compassionate, less judgmental, and more reasonable.  If I am angry with you, but realize that there is another trying to come between us, I’m much more willing to seek reconciliation than if I see you as my enemy.  In that case, I want revenge – or at the very least, I want distance.

If we think of others as our enemy, then guess what – we become their enemy.  After all, the counterpart to any opponent is the opposition, the other team or player.  And what do people do when confronted with an enemy?  Well, we’ve got a fight on our hands.  And it’s a war neither can win, because the real enemy is allowed to triumph as he remains totally undetected.

I have a favorite Bible verse for marriage:  “We war not against flesh and blood…”  This perspective makes all the difference in a marriage, and the principle holds true for any human relationship.  When there is conflict, there is a tendency to let destructive things enter in:  ego, selfishness, jealousy, bitterness…  All these things are killers, and they are prime motivators, if we’re willing to admit the truth.

Did you ever stop to think that every person who ever lived, every person you come into contact with, was made in the image of God?  If we really believed that, I think it would make a difference in how we treat people and what we want for them.  It’s true that we’ve fallen far from that original design, but He has a plan for restoring us.  It’s not going to happen by fighting with one another.  It happens when God rescues us, snatches us out of the mess we’re in, and we invite others to come along.  That’s what puts us all on the same team.

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