Your Own Worst Enemy
by Bernie Parsons
Your Own Worst Enemy
Presented To The Westwood church of Christ on 08/16/02
Matthew 5:43: Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt
love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
Have you ever given much thought to your enemies? You should. Your enemies think about you. They ponder and plan how to sabotage you. They scheme and connive to undermine you. They determine the best ways to destroy you. You should think about your enemies.
Jesus tells us to love our enemies, and to pray for them. Of course, we are not praying that they succeed in their diabolical plots. No, we pray that they will repent of their evil ways, turning their hearts to God.
Do you love yourself? A lot of people have a self-esteem issue--they dont think much of themselves. I blame a lot of this on the media. They push glamour, a trim figure, and physical attractiveness. They also push so-called creativity and boundless energy. Its easy for us to fall into the trap of thinking that we are not what we ought to be. But, guess what--if we dont love ourselves, we arent fulfilling the law of God. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemyand we are to love our enemies!
Matthew 22:35 "Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a
question, tempting him, and saying,
The principle of love under-girds our entire relationship with God. God loves us, and we love God. We love God with all of our being, and we love our neighbor as ourselves. We love our neighbor as ourselves, proving that we are to love ourselves. If you dont think much of yourself, you arent going to think much of your neighbor.
When you stop to think about it, why shouldnt we love ourselves? The Bible tells us that we are made in Gods image.
Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
We should love what God has created. Furthermore, as Christians, we are described as the body of Christ. If we are His very body, then we should love ourselves for that very factthat we are a part of Him.
Ephesians 1:18 "The eyes of your understanding being
enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the
glory of his inheritance in the saints,
We should love the body of Christ, and since we are the body of Christ, then we must love ourselves. Even so, some people still become their own worst enemy.
2 Timothy 2:23: "But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24: And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25: In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26: And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Paul advised Timothy to instruct those that oppose themselves. If you do not repent of your wrongdoing against God, and if you do not acknowledge the truth of God, then you are actually opposing yourself. To oppose means to provide resistance. The unrepentant and the ignorant resist themselves, becoming their own worst enemy.
Acts 2:38 "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized
every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall
receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Peter told his listeners to save themselves. This does not mean that one can save oneself separate and apart from the grace of God, and faith in Christ Jesus. What it says is that we have a responsibility to repent of our sins against God, and against our fellow man. We cant just go along with the crowd, being part of a herd mentality, doing what everyone is doing even when it is contrary to what God would have us do.
Although it may seem right at the time, and although it may bring a certain amount of pleasure to be part of a crowd doing something a certain way, we are actually acting in opposition to our own best interests. It is in our best interest to serve God acceptably, so that our souls may be saved. Be careful that we dont become our own worst enemy.
When we pleasure the flesh, we become our own worst enemy.
When we pleasure the flesh, we become our own worst enemy.
1 John 2:15 "Love not the world, neither the things that
are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
When we live for the moment, satisfying the flesh, or our eyes, or our pride, we array ourselves against God, which is not in our own self-interests. The lusts of this world pass away, but the word of God is eternal. It is against that measure that we shall be measured.
2 Corinthians 10:12 "For we dare not make ourselves of the
number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring
themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
It is in our best interests to become intimately acquainted with Gods truths, that is, His will for us, so that we might know by what standard we are being measured. If we fail to learn Gods standards, then we become our own worst enemy. When we unwisely measure our lives against those of the people around us, we do ourselves no favor.
Let us look at another manner in which we become our own worst enemy.
2 Thessalonians 2:10: "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Those who do not want to know the truth bring damnation upon themselves. Some suppose that God will ever plead and beg with us to turn to Him. Those who think this are woefully unaware that God has declared that He will take vengeance upon the unrighteous. Do you want to believe a lie? God may grant you your desire.
2 Corinthians 4:3 "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them
that are lost:
Sometimes God grows weary of mans arrogance and rebellion. Sometimes He unleashes His great wrath against the unrepentant, those abominable men and women who continually turn a deaf ear to His pleadings. Why do you think that Jesus said:
Matthew 15:12 "Then came his disciples, and said unto him,
Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
If you were lost in the wild, without hope of survival, and wandered upon another equally as lost as yourself, would you then choose to follow that persons leadership in finding a way out of your dilemma? Yet, those who are lost in sin often do just thatthey chose to follow someone else who is equally lost.
This even happens in the church. Often we seek those to teach us who are least capable or qualified to teach us. Paul warned Timothy about this danger.
2 Timothy 4:1": I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord
Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
If we seek only those who scratch the itch in our minds, we may find ourselves learning and following, not the teachings of Almighty God, but the delusions of some man. In doing so, we become our own worst enemy. Instead of learning of God and following Him, we learn what some man thinks, and follow him instead. We become blind followers of blind leaders, and we shall go where we had not intended.
Romans 16:17 "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause
divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
If we seek teachers who tell us only what we want to hear, we become our own worst enemy.
Colossians 2:6 "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the
Lord, so walk ye in him:
We must be aware of what is going on around us, and what other people are doing. Otherwise, we might find ourselves steeped in the philosophy of men, deceived into disobeying God, rather than obeying Him.
Matthew 10:16 "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Our mission is to save, not to destroy. Jesus said in:
Luke 6:9: Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?
Luke 9:56 "For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
Let us be harmless, but wise, lest we become our own worst enemy.
1 Corinthians 9: 27 "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Romans 2:1 "Therefore thou art
inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another,
thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
Let us not become our own worst enemy by teaching others how to live righteously, yet failing to live up to those standards ourselves. Let us not teach others, only to be cast away ourselves. We shall be judged for what we do while in this life.
1 Peter 4:17 "For the time is come that
judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end
be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
If you are a Christian, be careful to dedicate your life to the Lord, remembering that the righteous shall scarcely be saved. If you are not a member of the body of Christ, where does that leave you?
You have the responsibility, as Peter told the crowds on Pentecost, to save yourselfto take those steps that put you into Christ.
Galatians 3: 26 "For ye are all the
children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
When the Ethiopian eunuch wanted to become a Christian, here is what we read:
Acts 8:36 "And as they went on their way,
they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder
me to be baptized?
Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Come repenting, and confess that faith, and be baptized, and you can go on your way rejoicing as did the Ethiopian eunuch.