Can someone be your friend while he or she is still your enemy? Is that even possible?
Friend and enemy are diametrically opposed terms, even in the dictionary and the thesaurus. If you want an antonym of the word friend, usually that word is enemy. They are polar opposites. So is it possible to be a friend and an enemy at the same time? And I’m not talking about enemies who’ve called a truce either. I’m talking about someone who has enemies suddenly deciding to make them his friends.
We would call that person an idiot, wouldn’t we?
Enemies can’t be trusted. That’s what makes them enemies. Enemies are always out for themselves. They only care about their own interests, and they are usually willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want, despite the cost to others around them, despite the cost to their own friends.
Pursuing a friendship with your enemy is a bad idea.
What would happen if the U.S. pursued a friendship with Al-Quaeda? Or with Osama Bin Laden? What would happen if we pursued a frienship with North Korea? Or Libya? We’d probably be blown to smithereens. They’re our enemies. They hate us, want to destroy us, desire to anihilate us.
Okay. Better example. What would happen if Batman pursued a friendship with the Joker? (Sorry, I’ve been reliving my childhood watching old episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, so this crazy example is fresh in my mind.) Okay? These guys are enemies. They hate each other. The Joker is always looking for ways to hurt Batman, and Batman is always chasing him to lock him away in Arkham Asylum. Batman doesn’t ever forgive him either. They are bitter enemies. Their relationship is a picture of the consummate struggle between right and wrong, good and evil, order and chaos.
Could they ever be friends? Would Batman ever sacrifice one of his own in order to pursue a friendship with the Joker? Could you see Batman allowing Robin or Nightwing or Batgirl to die for the sole purpose of friendship with the Joker?
No. Freakin’. Way. It wouldn’t happen. It couldn’t happen.
Now, I know both of their character designs are WAY more complex than that. I could spend a whole day just blogging on the two of them.
But my point is that someone who is good shouldn’t ever pursue a real friendship with someone who has no intention of being good. It dangerous for them. It’s dangerous for the people they love. And there’s no point to it in either case.
So what do you make of Romans 5:10?
10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.
God restored our frienship with Him while we were still enemies.
Did you get that?
Not after we were friends. Not while we were thinking about becoming friends. Not after we called a truce. While we were still enemies.
The human race is God’s enemy. God entrusted us with amazing gifts, and we destroyed them all. He gave us the Earth, and we have blown it up and plowed it under. He gave us our bodies, and we misused them. He gave us our families, and we neglected them. Everything we have, God gave to us, and how do we treat it? We either let it rot or we tear it up and throw it in the trash because we think we deserve better.
Yet, while we were God’s enemies, God sacrificed His Son to restore our friendship.
Is He crazy? Didn’t He know that we’re His enemies? Didn’t He realize that He can’t trust us? Didn’t He understand what we are capable of?
Yes. And He did it anyway.
I’m not God’s enemy anymore. I’m one of His delinquent children who sometimes gets it right. By chosing to believe in Jesus, I became a part of His family, but I still get life wrong more often than not.
But God has extended the offer of friendship to people who are still His enemies, the people who don’t believe. Why? Because He loves us.
If you have ever created anything (a work of art, a manuscript, a poem, a computer program, whatever) and poured your heart and soul into it, can you hate it? If you created it perfect, the way you wanted it to be, with no mistakes and no flaws, and you felt that it was a perfect representation of who you are, could you despise it? Man, I have a few manuscripts that aren’t near perfect, but I worked really hard on them and feel like they’re the best I could do . . . . and I love them. I would never abandon them.
That’s what God did with us. He created us perfect; we were the ones who threw it away. But He still wants that relationship with us back, and He was willing to do whatever it took to restore us to the place where we could be friends again.
And I don’t know about you, but friendship with God is something that I don’t take lightly. It’s not really normal for you to call up the Maker of the Universe and chat for a little while, but I do it every morning while I’m driving to work.
It doesn’t make sense for God to love us the way He does, especially when most of the time we are only out for ourselves. But I’m so thankful that He does.
I’m still 100% certain that Batman and the Joker will never make up. But as incredibly awesome as Batman is (he’s my favorite of all time), I’m glad He’s not God. Aren’t you? =)