1 KINGS 21:20-22
Then Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” And he answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the Lord: ‘Behold, I will bring calamity on you. I will take away your posterity, and will cut off from Ahab every male in Israel, both bond and free. I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and made Israel sin.'”
Those who might be called our enemies can actually do us great service. Socrates noted that every man needs a faithful friend and a bitter enemy?the one to advise him, and the other to make him look about him. Benjamin Franklin said, “Love your enemies, for they tell you your faults.” And the Greek philosopher Antisthenes admonished, “Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.”
Elijah could have helped King Ahab to discover his mistakes, if the king would have permitted him to do so. Ahab was surrounded by false prophets who were telling him only what they thought he wanted to hear.
His wife, Jezebel, was leading him down the path of destruction by her zealous attempt to establish Baal worship in Israel. Elijah was his only hope, but the king dismissed him because he was an “enemy.”
If a Christian is living for the Lord, he will have enemies. This will not be because he has cultivated them; it’s simply the natural response of the world to the Gospel. But such a situation can be turned to our advantage. The Lord can use even our enemies to accomplish His will in our lives.
If you have an enemy, listen to him or her carefully. See if underneath their bitterness or anger there might not be a grain of truth in their complaint with you. Enemies often identify our faults much better than our friends do. Why not try listening to them? It may in the long run make you more Christlike.
CHERISH YOUR ENEMIES; THEY MAY BE BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE.