What If Your Enemy Is Yourself?

Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you. - Luke 6:27

Many of us are our own worse critics. We grow up hating parts of ourselves, locking them up, and treating them poorly. So what happens when the enemy is inside you - how do you love that enemy?

Today, face the darkness inside. Sometimes it’s our own self-loathing. Sometimes it’s bitterness towards others that has poisoned our souls because we’ve been unable to forgive. Sometimes it’s just a pile of things we don’t like about ourselves. What if we faced those things - and embraced our own enemies within, not hiding them or hiding from them, but allowing the love of Christ to penetrate and embrace those hated parts of ourselves?

Today, ponder the words of the great African bishop from 1600 years ago and from one of the pioneers working with the disabled, and then, if you’d like, listen to the song “Be Kind to Yourself” as a way to practice what we’re learning today…

Do not imagine that our enemies can do us more harm than we do to ourselves by hating them. - Augustine of Hippo, writing about 400 AD

We create enemies because we haven't confronted the enemy within us. - Jean Vanier, human rights activist

Be Kind To Yourself by Andrew Peterson (Lyrics below)

You got all that emotion that's heaving like an ocean
And you're drowning in a deep, dark well
I can hear it in your voice that if you only had a choice
You would rather be anyone else

I love you just the way that you are
I love the way He made your precious heart

Be kind to yourself
Be kind to yourself

I know it's hard to hear it when that anger in your spirit
Is pointed like an arrow at your chest
When the voices in your mind are anything but kind
And you can't believe your Father knows best

I love you just the way that you are
I love the way He's shaping your heart

Be kind to yourself
Be kind to yourself

How does it end when the war that you're in
Is just you against you against you
Gotta learn to love, learn to love
Learn to love your enemies too

You can't expect to be perfect
It's a fight you've gotta forfeit
You belong to me whatever you do
So lay down your weapon, darling
Take a deep breath and believe that I love you

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