Friend or Foe?

Name some of the greatest matchups of all time.

  • Road Runner and Willy Coyote
  • Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier
  • The Civil War – Northern vs. Southern States

When you read this list, chances are your memories are stirred, bringing up childhood favorites, ESPN reruns, and even lectures or documentaries highlighting certain battles. Whatever your age, we all know in these matchups there typically was a “good” side and a “bad” side. There was a protagonist and an antagonist. There was the side you wanted to see win and the side that was considered the enemy.

Interestingly enough, in some of these matchups, the line dividing the two sides wasn’t always easily discernable. Whether or not you continually rooted for the Road Runner might have been dependent upon the level of sympathy you had for Willey Coyote every time he fell off a cliff. Who you sided with in the Ali v. Frazier matches might have been dependent upon your desire to see the “under-dog” come out victorious. In all, the question of “Fried or Foe?” is raised.

In Galatians 4:16, the apostle Paul wrote, “So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?” His question was very straight forward, and one that was absolutely pertinent. As he confronted those trying to marry Judaism and Christianity, Paul mixed no words, fully understanding that true freedom is only realized through Jesus Christ. (Galatian 5:1) But does a friend tell you what you always want to hear? Does the fact Paul spoke out against false teaching make him a foe?

In our lives, we need to remember that true love, at times, demands speaking a tough truth. When one is caught up in a habitual sin, a friend tenderly but forcefully calls him/her on it for the sake of their soul. That doesn’t make the friend a foe. Rather, by the loving stance, the friendship is demonstrated. May we always be ready to both help and receive help when the need arises in our spiritual walk.