Enmity

Good morning friends,

Have you ever contemplated “Enmity”? 

I am grateful this week for a nudge I felt to dissect enmity and strive to truly understand it.  This study led me to some neat insights which I am thankful for.

What does enmity mean to you? Is there a place for it in our lives? What creates enmity? What is the antidote that snuffs out enmity?

The 1828 Webster dictionary defines enmity as, “The quality of being an enemy; the opposite of friendship; ill will; hatred; unfriendly dispositions; malevolence.”  

The thing that struck me about enmity is when, in Genesis, God puts enmity between Satan and “the seed of the woman” or us.  I realized that God wants us to recognize Satan as the enemy, and to have a “fixed or rooted hatred” towards him. I had never considered that God is ok with and even desires us to hate.

Then, as we learn in the temple, Satan takes that enmity or hatred and vows to use it against us.  

This leads me to believe there is a “good” and a “bad” way to use enmity.  There is really only one enemy, and that is the devil.  Genesis shows us that it is right to hate Satan.  However, I propose that when we have hate or malevolence towards anyone or anything else, we are under Satan’s influence and enmity is being used against us.  

I believe enmity is one of the adversary’s most powerful tools for destroying relationships.  Whether it’s our relationship with God, ourselves or others, relationships are precious.  Our relationships are vital to our mortality and the prime target of Satan’s strategy for our destruction.  As my mind was busy this week bringing me anything that had to do with enmity, I happened upon a talk given by James Patterson.  He offers that the cause of enmity is unmet expectations.  This rang true.  How often is there a rift created when our life circumstances, our loved ones, or even our own actions don’t measure up to the expectations we consciously or unconsciously hold?  Are there seeds of enmity growing in your relationship with God, yourself or others because of a “manual” or “shoulds” that are continually left unfulfilled?  Is there an ideal that isn’t met which is planting seeds of enmity in a relationship? I came across a meme which says, “What screws us up most in life is the pictue in our head of how it’s supposed to be.”  Is the picture in your head congruent with your life? Are unmet expectations distancing you from God, from loving and accepting yourself or from others?  I challenge you to study enmity and watch for where it shows up in your life. 

Patterson suggests that the antidote to enmity is charity.  This again struck a chord of truth with me.  I know that it is a universal truth- Love wins.  As I think of the definition of charity, phrases such as “seeking not her own”, “suffering long”, “not easily provoked” and “bearing all things” truly denote a letting go of expectations.  

As I reflect on the relationships in my life where I considered someone an enemy, at the very beginning of the falling out, there truly was unmet expectations. Looking back I realize there was a stubborn refusal to let go of a standard I believed should be met. Enmity occurs when unresolved expectations lend themselves to blame, contention and hardened hearts where communication breaks down and so does love.  

This past weekend I was struck by a statement during General Conference from Paul V. Johnson, “When we follow Satan, we give him power.  When we follow God, He gives us power.”  As we strive for charity, when an unmet expectation arises, if we ask for help we will be given power from God to loosen our grip on the standard we expect.  Otherwise, as unmet expectations continue, we will succumb to the downward spiral of disapproval, offense, discontent, disappointment and eventual enmity, destroying relationships and granting Satan power in our lives.

I challenge you to study enmity and watch for where it shows up in your life.  If there is an enemy in your life, other than the devil, try the application of charity.  I’m grateful for the understanding of how unmet expectations are the first seedlings of enmity and if we can recognize and apply charity, relationships will be strengthened instead of strained. 

I’d love to hear your take on enmity!!

Delightfully yours,

Candice Noss

PS My last Body Love group of the year will start November 1st.  This is one of my very favorite groups because it runs during Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year.  It is a beautiful time to focus on loving what we have while working for what we want.  The secret sauce of life truly is to live with a mind firmly aligned, a body purposefully loved and a spirit powerfully accessed.  This is what I teach and it is transformative. 🙂 

Sign up here to join me.  

Send your family and friends! Together we rise!!

ReplyForward

Leave a Comment