Friday, February 10, 2012

Got Enemies? 3 Ways to Deal with the Pain

If you have no enemies, you either don't get out much or you’re dead.

Everyone makes someone mad sometime in their life, and if you’re like me—opinionated and bold—you’ve made several enemies along the way. But what do you do when someone dislikes, even hates you, and you’ve apologized, bent over backwards to make up with them, and they still refuse to forgive you?

I have two such people in my life right now. I’ve found three things that help ease the hurt when these individuals make it clear they wish I wasn’t sharing the same planet with them. I believe these discoveries will help you, too.

Jesus said, "I Told You So." 

1. I remind myself that Jesus said the world would hate me because I belong to Him (John 15). If no one dislikes me, it means my light isn’t shining. When Satan tempts me to condemn myself, I refuse his lies, reminding him of Romans 8:1. If he persists, I preach him a sermon OUT LOUD, about who I am in Christ and the price Jesus paid to make me His princess. That makes him run off with his tail between his legs.

Prayer Flushes out the Pain

2. I pray for my enemy. They have some kind of owie in their heart that keeps them from forgiving my real and imagined wrongs against them, and they need God’s help to get over the pain. Plus, praying for them releases me from any bitterness trying to attach itself to my heart like barnacles on the side of a boat.

Leaving the Door Open

3. I am pleasant and gracious when I encounter this individual. I’m tempted to ignore then, so I don’t have to deal with their rejection and icy treatment. But I want to leave the door open for Jesus to work in their life. . Their eternal destiny is far more important than my feelings. If I walk in love and treat them with respect, I cannot be blamed for their poor attitude, and I have a clear conscience.

How have you managed your emotions when someone dislikes or even hates you?


  1. I have enemies and it hurts that I do especially when I think of myself as nice. I have done one and two but three is hard--it's good I live in Texas:) I tend to avoid those who have told me they don't like me. I think if they showed up on my doorstep,I would let them in only because it's the right thing to do.

  2. Yes, I have prayed for my enemies and seen God do some amazing things! Things I would have never believed on my own. Usually, I find #3 much easier than I used to when I was younger, because I end up feeling sorry for people who carry around so much anger or unhappiness. It's no way to live, and they need release as much as I have needed it.

  3. Working on this w/ a very specific person in my life. Curious to see how God will bring us through it.
    ~ Wendy

  4. Thank you for this post...even Christian women don't always get along. I have someone who is and has been angry with me for a verrry long time. This post is a good reminder. I have just been ignoring her for several months. I must take time to speak and leave the door open. Thank you again

  5. This is excellent, Jeanette. Simple, but powerful. Why (you're right) are we surprised when this happens? It's not like we weren't warned, is it?

    Thank you for sharing your strength and heart with us. God will bless you (I know this) for that last one, dear.

  6. I do pray for my enemies. I've learned to trust God in these situations.

  7. One of the hardest things to do is to 'Love those who hate you'. Ouch.

    Yep, unless rigamortis has set in, we are gonna have those people in our lives.

    I can do all the things I can do to make things right but when the other person doesn't let go, I have a hard time simply givin' it over to God.

    I'm a fixer...I git~'er~done and have trouble lettin' go and lettin' God. Geese Louise...I'm sooooo human! Heeehehehe!!!'

    God bless ya and have a fantabulous weekend sweetie!!! :o)

  8. Wonderful, Jen! I so appreciate this reminder and encouragement. Some days I do better with this than others. :)

  9. Forgiveness releases them into God's hands. He does a much better changing their attitudes than I ever could.

  10. That last one especially spoke to me Jeanette. I dislike confrontation, so my first instinct would be to steer clear of the person. Good advice! Thank you.

  11. Of course there are people who don't like me. Lots of them. But enemies? I don't know about that. I think that doing your 3 step plan will get rid of this designation. You are right, if they still don't like me, I cant's do much more about it, but I don't have to feel guilty because I have done what God has required.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone loved us? I guess trying with God's help to love everyone else is the next best thing.

  12. You're such a beautiful soul! I'm always so encouraged by your example and faith. Thanks for these tips.


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