By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

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Turn an Enemy Into a Friend

That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. —2 Corinthians 12:10

Have you a rival now? Is there somebody bugging you? Is there somebody needling you? Is there somebody trying to get your goat—or have they already got your goat? If you think long and hard about this, and you dwell on it, it could destroy you. There's no guarantee that the devil will overreach himself if we become full of self-pity and develop a judgmental spirit. It is then that the devil will be saying, "Oh, it's working! It's working!" Don't let that happen.

God trusts us in letting us have an enemy so that if we respond in the right way, we will be so much better off.

Satan works through our enemies to defeat us, but if we react without grieving the Holy Spirit, then the result will be that it will refine us, not defeat us.

Has it occurred to you that God would want reconciliation between you and your enemy? The heart of God is reconciliation. Here are three principles of reconciliation.

First, if reconciliation is delayed—that there is no chance of reconciliation at the moment—then be sure it's not your fault. Paul said, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" (Rom. 12:18). Do everything that you can do to embrace that person.

Second, your enemy today might be your friend tomorrow. Be sure, therefore, that you show such love to that person now, for you may become friends later.

Third, pray for your enemy. How do you pray for them? You must not pray that God will deal with them or punish them, but you must pray for them to be blessed.

Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004).

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