Remember the real enemy – it may not be who you think

EnemyThere is no perfect church. Every church is populated with people who struggle with pride and selfishness just like you and I do. Every church has leaders who struggle with pride and selfishness. As a result, conflict is inevitable. It’s going to happen. In James 4:1-3 we see that such conflict was an issue in the First Century church.

When conflict happens, we should keep in mind who the real enemy is. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our real enemy is the devil who prowls around looking for those he can devour. Unfortunately we, as church members, sometimes aid him in his devouring. We, knowingly or unknowingly, participate in behavior that creates conflict.

It is important to keep in mind that the church member or church leader who creates the conflict is not the enemy. The real enemy is far more nefarious (this word just sounds creepy) and subtle. The real enemy wants you to think that your brother or sister in Christ is the enemy so that he can continue his work of destruction undetected.

If we keep in mind the real enemy, it should make it easier to forgive the one with whom we’ve had the conflict and work toward reconciliation. Even if the conflict cannot be reconciled, forgiveness takes the conflict off your plate and frees you up to move forward without being bogged down.

Keep the ultimate source of the conflict in mind, deal with your part of it before the Cross, forgive and move forward. The concept is easy to understand, but is so difficult to do.