44,47 “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. … And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?”
Matthew 5:44,47 (ESV)
Athlete, there are people at your school, on your team or living with you who annoy you, are disinteresting to you, or treat you poorly.
When I was in college there was a roommate I tried to avoid. I found his personality annoying. He said some mean things about me, and I had a hard heart toward him. I thought of him as my enemy.
But something unexpected happened when I gave up my avoidance techniques. When I purposefully engaged with him my heart softened and we were a dynamic pair. We ended up being good friends.
This tells me that when we team up with people who annoy us, or with those we consider our enemies, there is a dynamic that is absent when we remain separate.
God knows about teaming up with His enemies. God knows about the whooping potential when you destroy a relational barrier.
God knows togetherness prompts breakthroughs that isolation cannot. God knows about joining forces with those who dislike Him.
Paul said we were enemies of God, but God who is rich in mercy, raised us up with Him. God joined forces with His enemies. He took His own advice from Matthew, chapter 5. Look at the staggering result.
To get an idea of the potential energy of loving our enemies, picture millions of people standing against God. Picture God by Himself with no one on His side.
Then picture God bringing His enemies over the line. Now picture God with masses of people around Him. What a scene, which would not have existed if not for the merciful love of God.
God knew if we joined forces we would be unstoppable. He also knew the potential that would go down the drain if He did not.
Athlete, do not let the positive potential of joining forces with those you do not like go down the drain.
If you love your enemy, you might find a dynamic energy as unique as the two of you. If God is not above teaming up with His enemies, neither are you.
Reflect: Think of two people on campus you have a hard heart toward. Talk to both of them in the next 24 hours.