The Civil War had just ended and the opportunistic scalawags were busy oppressing their fellow Southerners. A hot-blooded contingency of die-hard former rebels gained an audience with President Lincoln. His gentle and friendly manner soon thawed the ice and the Southerners left with a new respect for their old foe. A northern congressman approached the president and criticized him for “befriending the enemy” suggesting that instead of befriending them he should have had them shot for the traitors they were. Lincoln smiled and replied: “Am I not destroying my enemies by making them my friends?”
Many people think that freedom is the license to do whatsoever a person wants, but freedom is the ability to do what is right when pressured to do wrong. By making our enemy our friend we show the strength to take control of a tense situation. I like what King Solomon said: “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32). When we are able to control our attitude and emotions we are stronger than our enemy. We are free from guilt and anger. This is total freedom.
While still a young boy a certain Christian formed the habit of praying beside his bed before he went to sleep. Later when he joined the army he kept up the practice. He became the object of mockery and ridicule in the barracks. One night as he knelt to pray after a long weary march, one of his tormentors took off his muddy boots and threw them at him, one at a time, hitting him on each side of his head. The Christian said nothing, took the persecutor’s boots, put them beside the bed and continued to pray. The next morning when the other soldier woke up he found his polished and shined boots beside his bed. It so affected him that he asked for forgiveness and after a short time he became a Christian. The Christian young man was free to react but he chose to do what was right and his enemy became his friend. He remained free. He proved to be stronger than his enemy.
Take a look at Jesus Christ. He was totally free even when surrounded by His enemies. And He had a lot of them. They were constantly trying to get at Him hoping to get some kind of reaction, but He never fell prey to their twisted schemes. He stayed in control. He could not be manipulated.
He lived by His own creed: “love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). The reason being, we keep the control. We have peace. We remain free and happy and whole. Our enemy can’t get a handle on us and this can be very frustrating for him. He can’t manipulate our emotions which puts him to shame. If we can control our emotions and our tongue we are the strong one, and even better, by doing something good for our enemy he might just become our best friend. J. C. is pastor of Joy Christian Ministries W. Sac.
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.