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April 20, 1998

Putting Your Enemies in the Pit (Part One)

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May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace. PSALM 35:26
There are those who view capitalism as a particularly harsh economic system, one that offers little sympathy for those who are unable to keep up with the competition. In fact, work often is described in military terms. Companies battle each other for market share and often take a win-at-all-cost approach to meeting their strategic objectives. Even within organizations, battles can turn ugly.
The cold, harsh reality is that most of us have enemies—outside of our organizations, inside of our organizations, or both. Jesus, of course, teaches us to love our enemies and to turn the other cheek, but this isn’t always easy. Consider, for instance, one of Jesus’ human forefathers—King David. When David prayed about his enemies, as he did in Psalm 35, it wasn’t exactly in glowing terms.
“May those who seek my life be disgraced and put to shame; may those who plot my ruin be turned back in dismay. May they be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the LORD driving them away; may their path be dark and slippery, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them. Since they hid their net for me without cause and without cause dug a pit for me, may ruin overtake them by surprise—may the net they hid entangle them, may they fall into the pit, to their ruin” (Psalm 35:4-8).
There certainly was no love lost between David and his enemies, was there? We might be tempted to judge him for his attitude, but before we get too uppity, we need to remember one thing. David didn’t spread rumors about his enemies, badmouth them, or try to hurt them himself. He didn’t hesitate to share his true feelings in his prayers, but he left all vengeance right where it belonged—with God.
Where do you go to express your feelings about your enemies—to other people or to God?

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