Who Is the Enemy?
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Someone has worked hard to bring out positive achievements in a business, but a counterpart fights his proposals at every step. Someone else who is pursuing a worthy goal feels she faces unfair competition. A family wants to develop its property to enhance the value, but neighbors band together to block the path. Who is the enemy in each of these scenes?
Whenever we feel that someone else stands in our way, the fact is still this: people are not the enemy. That may be hard to see. It was for me. But the more we are willing to see it, the sooner we will get to the root of whatever threatens to block our achievements and stultify our progress, and be able to remove the obstructions.
I've found that thinking I have to fight other people only keeps me from the very progress I might dearly want. That when the goals and objectives I pursue lie within the lines of what is moral, legal, and good, I always have recourse to a higher power for refuge and defense. God is the only power that creates and defines us, and He opens up paths of progress.
If the way seems blocked for whatever reason, we can wholeheartedly, unreservedly turn to God, who is the Mind of all, for guidance and direction. During some difficult experiences in my life, I learned I could never place my trust in God and not find ultimate solutions - when I was willing to do certain things. The first was to acknowledge Him as the source of intelligence for all, governing all. This idea comes from the commands God gave Moses as ten laws for life. The First Commandment says that we are to acknowledge God, who is infinite good, above all else and see there is no other power beside Him (see Ex. 20:3).
Second, I learned we need to see our real identity to be what Genesis refers to as the spiritual "image" and "likeness" of God, who is the divine Spirit (see 1:26). This must always be good. In order to get the full picture of what this means, we need to see "the others" in this same light. God loves each of His children infinitely, equally, and universally. We must be willing to give up mistaken views of ourselves and others - to love in the way Christ Jesus taught.
What is really in back of our obstructed progress and hindered efforts is wrong thoughts. Thoughts either about ourselves or others, which suggest that we have an identity apart from God, a "self" that's spinning off by itself, away from Him.
These thoughts are always the enemy. When we think them, they exclude us from recognizing God's plan for us and obscure His powerful help in our carrying out that plan. They blind us from seeing the real, spiritual unity we share with all our fellow men and women. They hinder our recognizing signs in our lives of the harmony that God has established - of His kingdom on earth.
During one of the times when I was under attack from another person at work, I prayed to God earnestly. I found the following from the textbook of Christian Science: "Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 261). I felt challenged to do just this. And watching every one of my thoughts in this way, I ruled out the real enemy, the combative thoughts of an ungodlike, self-evolving creation in which individuals want to harm each other. I found that the enemy was not fundamentally the person who had been attacking me, but these thoughts about an attacking person.
When I corrected my thoughts by holding "to the enduring, the good, and the true" - to the facts of God and His good creation - the attacks stopped. My work proceeded normally, and a pleasant relationship with that person came about.
We can each certainly hold our thinking squarely to the truth that God is the Mind of all. It is possible to replace the underlying, wrong beliefs about who other people are - and who we are - with the understanding of the good identity He has given each of us. This is what successfully fights the destructive view of ourselves, our neighbor, or the situation at hand. This is what brings out God's harmony on earth.