“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” -Winston ChurchillIndeed, the presence of enemies is not to be feared, but I do need to ask myself "Why are they my enemies?" Many of us almost look for enemies as a sign of our bold, principled leadership but we can make enemies while standing for the wrong things or simply because we are jerks.
It is curious how many are willing to make enemies over a wide range of issues, but are they issues that matter? Do they have eternal consequence? Sadly, few are willing to make enemies as representatives of Christ and His Gospel.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours." (John 15.18–21)We have some influence over who hates us as we stoutly stand for what is most important and hold the less important loosely. Choose your enemies carefully. Christ does not stand with those who will not stand with Him (Mark 8:38).
Carl Trueman on how we should respond to criticism