February 22: Your “Enemies”

Read Acts 26:1-32

“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy!” Have you ever found yourself saying that? Probably, you spoke those words in reference to some kind of especially difficult personal trial. I wonder, however, what would you wish on your worst enemy? Ouch, that may be hitting below the belt, but it is a question worth considering . . . even one the apostle Paul answers.

Now, I am not sure that Festus, King Agrippa, and Bernice represented Paul’s “worst enemies,” but let’s start with them. They were people who hadn’t made his imprisonment easy. Nevertheless, Paul shared with them the gospel of Jesus. Even King Agrippa understood Paul’s objective of seeing him come to Christ (v. 28). Then came Paul’s response, “I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains” (v. 29). In other words, imprisonment was the plight he didn’t wish on them as his “enemies.” Meanwhile he did “wish Jesus on” all!

What kind of things would you not wish on your worst enemies? What kind of things would you wish on them? It is possible that God wants to change your attitude towards them. Instead of wishing any kind of negative experiences on those with whom you have experienced relational challenges in the past, why not begin today to pray for things like blessing and salvation for them? Perhaps God will ask you to change your pattern of relating (or not relating) to them so that you are a mouthpiece of salvation and an instrument of that blessing!

Remember that even those with whom you have a tense relationship will spend eternity somewhere. Perhaps you can tell them your story the way that Paul told Agrippa. By extending grace and sharing Jesus with them, you may not only begin a process of their reconciliation with you but also with their Creator God.


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