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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - How Should You Treat Your Enemies - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - How Should You Treat Your Enemies - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - How Should You Treat Your Enemies - Part 1
TOPICS: Attitude, Enemy
Joyce Meyer - How Should You Treat Your Enemies - Part 1

And I have a vision for this year. I'm gonna be teaching a lot this year on spiritual maturity. And, you know, there's spiritual babies, Paul talked about babies. Spiritual adolescence, he didn't talk about them. But I think we've got spiritual teenagers. And we've got spiritual young adults. But it's time for us to mature and to grow up. My son, our son, our oldest son, he had a little bit of a temper on him when he was younger. Well, matter of fact, he had a big temper. And he spent a lot of time angry, and mad, and a lot, he got mad easy. And he said the other day, I asked him a question about something. He said, "I wanna do what anybody wants to do, that's what I wanna do, all I want is peace". And I thought, "Well, praise God, he's finally grown up".

And, you know, you look back as you get older, and some of you are already experiencing this, you realize some of the things that you got mad about, were so ridiculous. And my goal for us is to stop just wanting something for ourself all the time, and to want something for the kingdom. The Lord's prayer says, "Thy kingdom come". And we need to see the kingdom come. We need to see more people brought into the kingdom. And in order for that to happen, we all have to mature. Every single one of you is in ministry. It's not just a handful of people you see up here. To be honest, you have the opportunity to reach many more people than I can reach from this platform. Because the people who need to be here today, probably wouldn't step foot in here. But you live next door to 'em. You work with them. You go to the grocery store and meet 'em there.

And I wanna see people get bolder, not necessarily to feel that you have to go around preaching to everybody, but to live the life that Jesus died for us to live. And to stop just making excuses for being babies. You know, if you've been saved for a while, you need to see growth in your walk with God. And the New Testament especially, talks a lot about our behavior. And, you know, it's not our bumper stickers, and our Jesus Jewelry, and taking a Bible to work with you, that impresses people, it's your behavior. It's how you behave, it's how you treat 'em, how you talk to 'em, how you talk about 'em. Are you willing to help 'em when they're down? You know, we're good at praying for people, but what about helping people? I'mma say it again. We're good at praying for you. You hear about, "Oh, that's a shame, I'll pray for you". Well, could you help 'em?

God told me a few years ago, I was praying for somebody, for him to do something for somebody, and he said, "Don't ask me to do that, that's something you could easily do. Stop asking me to do things that you could do, and just don't want to". Amen? So, I'mma talk to you this morning about something, it's not brand-new news. You know, this is not a message you haven't heard before. But that doesn't mean you don't need to hear it again. How to treat your enemies. I'm making an assumption when I say this, but I'm making it, based on 40 years of experience. There's probably more people in here today, that are mad at somebody, than those that aren't.

Come on, you're all looking so innocent. Who knows, you may even be with the person you're mad at. Who is an enemy? An enemy is somebody that you're angry at, somebody that hurt you, somebody that abused you or abandoned you, somebody that wasn't there for you when you needed them, after you've been there for them your whole life. It's somebody you're having a hard time being around now, because they didn't treat you right at some time. And the Bible says that God will be our vindicator. He'll be the one that will bring justice to our life. But he won't do it, if we try to do it. Did you hear me? He won't do it, if we try to do it. And so, he tells us how to treat our enemies. And, you know, right now, today, I can't think of an enemy that I have, but that doesn't mean I won't have one tomorrow.

How many of you know, you probably get about 30 opportunities every week to be offended if you wanna be? But you see, it's a choice, you don't have to get offended. Proverbs says, "It's a great man who turns away from offense". And I have finally found the grace from God to do something that the Bible tells us to do, that has helped me so, so much. And that is very simply what it says in 1 Corinthians 13, "Love always believes the best of every person". I'll tell you, if you focus on that for a while, and you learn to do that, it is gonna save you so much time. Do you know getting angry is hard on you? It's hard on your health. It's hard on you physically. It makes you tired. Being angry makes you tired.

How many of you know there's plenty to get angry about out in the world today? People acting pretty stupid, you know. I mean, we can get mad at the government every day, six times. You know, you just, you read the news, and you get angry. I mean, it's not hard to get angry. But God tells us to let him deal with our enemies, now listen to me, while we continue to do his work. See if you get all riled up, and you get focused on your enemies, then you stop doing what God wants you to do. No-yeah, you don't have to be so quiet, you know. And I know you're thinking, "Some people," and I know you're thinking, "Well, you just don't know what they did to me". Well, to be absolutely honest, it doesn't matter. God gives us no room for making excuses for not forgiving our enemies. Jesus, when he was being crucified, totally 100% innocent, bearing all of our sins, he said, "Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do".

Now, you can't get any worse than that. So, there's nothing that we're upset about, that's any worse than what he could have been upset about. And the Bible says, "While we were still yet sinners". So, you get to forgive people while they're still hurting you. Woo! Deuteronomy 28:7, "The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before your face: they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways". Can I tell you a sweet, little secret? I'll say that loud: if we continue to do things God's way, which is to love people and to forgive 'em, God will always bring justice into your life, when somebody mistreats you. I've seen it happen over... It doesn't always happen fast. I had a group of people that hurt me really, really, really bad one time, and it was ten years before I got an apology.

So, sometimes God doesn't always do it real fast. But, you know, when we pray for people that have hurt us, we're not praying for 'em to get a new house or a new car. That's not the point. Most of the time when you pray for people that have hurt you, what God will do is cause them to realize that they've hurt you. Because to be honest, most people who hurt you don't even know they're doing it. They're acting out of their own hurt. There's a lot of wounded people out there running into other wounded people, and just wounding each other.

And even my father, who sexually abused me, I don't know how this could be true, but he told me 30 years after he did it, he said, "I really didn't know that what I was doing to you was hurting you". You know why? 'cause he was raised in a similar atmosphere. And he said, "It wasn't until he started hearing some of the stories on television, about what abuse does to a child, sexual abuse, that he realized he'd hurt me". No wonder Jesus said, "Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do". Let's hear that today, "They know not what they do". That's why we should believe the best. And I wanna tell you something. Please hear me today. Like I said, "This is not a new message".

You know, I used to think I had to have a new message everywhere I went. But what I have to have is a "Now" message, not a "New" message. And I tell you, God wants you to start this year clean. He wants you to start with a pure heart. Not that same old junk lodged in your heart that's been there for some, some of you years. "Well, you just don't understand". Well, maybe I don't, but Jesus does. And God never asks us to do anything for somebody else, that he hasn't already done for us. How many times does God forgive you for the same thing over and over?

Now, I know you say, "Well, I can't help the way I feel". Well, that's true, you can't. But forgiveness is not about a feeling, it's about a decision. It's a decision how you're gonna treat somebody. Just an example, you know, sometimes, well at least the church I went to at one time, they had a habit of saying, "Go and give somebody a hug, and tell 'em you love 'em with the love of the Lord". I don't like that statement. You know, what is that anyway? I love you with the love of the Lord. Well, where are you when I need to move, and I need somebody to help me, you know? You can love me with the love of the Lord all you want to in church and hug me, but you know. I mean, we need to get real with people. What people need is help. They need encouragement they need to feel loved. They need to feel cared for. They need to have needs met. Not just, "Well, I'll pray for you, and I love you with the love of the Lord". That's sweet but, you know.

And I remember God said, "Go hug somebody and tell 'em you love 'em", and I turned to go in a direction, and I saw a girl, a woman, that had hurt me really bad. Matter of fact, she was after my job. And I started to go this way, and God said, "Uh-uh"! You know how the Holy Spirit is, he don't have to say much, and you know. And I had to turn around and go back and hug her. And I tell you, that was so hard. I didn't feel like doing it. But let me tell you something, and if you don't remember anything else I say today, please remember this. You do not have to feel like doing what God is telling you to do, in order to do it. I need to say that again. I see you all way up there. And I like the fact that you're up there, that's cool. You don't, and I don't, have to feel like doing what's right, to do it. And just because somebody else is doing what's wrong, that doesn't mean I get to. Woo! It's tough.

And, you know, I've gotten smarter over the years. Now, when somebody hurts me, I start praying immediately, "God help me forgive 'em. Help me forgive 'em. Help me, help me, help me, help me, help me". I used to wait and have my little fit first. You know, be mad for a "Little" while. You know, we like to give our flesh a little something. Just be mad for a little while. Come on, you got it brother. Right? You just be mad for a little while. "I'm not gonna talk to you at least today". My son called me, the one that used to have the temper, and he said, "I gotta ask you a spiritual question". I said, "Okay, go for it". And he said, "How is it when dad makes you mad, that you can just go right on talking to him, as if nothing happened"?

'Cause I used to not be that way. I mean, I could stay mad at him three weeks, and not say a word. I mean, for somebody with a mouth like mine, to say nothing for three weeks, that takes a lot of mad. And I said, "Because I know that, that's what God wants me to do. And I will do anything now, rather than offend God". And, you know, that doesn't mean I'm super spiritual, it just means I'm old. And I've had enough experience with God, to know that he's gonna get his way in the end. So, why waste three, four, five days give myself a headache or stomachache? You know, I used to say, "A good argument with Dave was worth a couple of pounds," because when I get mad, I don't wanna eat. I'm not an emotional eater, I'm the other way. If I get upset, I don't want nothing. So, every time we'd have a good fight, I'd lose a couple of pounds.

You know, God can only work where there's peace. Do you hear me? Don't pray for your kids to be saved, and then fight with your husband all the time. Jesus, when he sent the disciples out two by two, he said, "You go and find a house and say, 'peace be unto you'. And if you're peace rest there, you can stay there and work from there. But if not, shake the dust off your feet and go on". You got to have an atmosphere of peace to work in. That's why at Joyce Meyer Ministries from day one, God told me, "If you want this to be a success, you keep the strife out of your life, and out of this ministry". And in order to do that, you gotta work at it. Because when you got 500, 600 employees, you try getting 'em all to get along on any one day. Yeah, amen!

That's the gentleman sitting up here next to Dave. He's our staff pastor. We got enough people we gotta have a pastor to... And one of the things he's in charge of, to my great delight, is conflict resolution. I don't have to deal with it. If somebody gets mad at somebody else and they won't forgive 'em, we call Mike. And you know what? If he works with them a while and cannot get it straightened out, somebody's gotta go. 'cause I've worked too hard, and I've paid too big a price, to see somebody ruin this over some little emotional fit. C'mon, you got to have peace! And the only way you're gonna have peace, is on purpose. And you'll only have peace, if you have humility. And "Humility" means, "You don't care who's right".

How many times do we fight over who's right? "Well, I'm right". "You're right". "Well, I'm right". Well, I mean, being right is highly overrated. I mean, what's the big deal anyway? "You're right". "I'm right". Everybody wants to tell you what they think. Well, who cares? Give your opinion when nobody wants it. Ooh, I tell you, I got some scriptures here today, that are gonna tear you up. God's word does not allow for any kind of revenge. Not even shut, you know, we put our walls up, it's natural, the minute somebody hurts you. I can feel the wall go up, and I have to tear it down. And one of the things I do when somebody hurts me is, I immediately start to pray for 'em, "God forgive 'em: they know not what they do. Bless 'em".

You know, you can't stay mad at somebody very long, and pray for 'em at the same time. And then he says, "Pray for 'em and bless them," and the word "Bless" means "To speak well of," and "To curse" means "To speak evil of". And it doesn't just say to bless 'em, but it says, "Bless and do not curse them". So, you don't even get to talk about 'em. Come on, we're cuttin' this down to the bone, today. You don't get to stay mad. You don't get to go gossip about them and tell everybody else what they did to you. You can talk to them, but you can't talk about them. Matthew 18 says, "If your brother has wronged you, you go to him privately between you and him". And what do we do? We always go to somebody else first. And a lot of times we become liars in the process, because we say, "I'm just telling you this 'cause I want you to pray for me". No, you ain't, you're telling 'em that because you wanna tell it.

"I'm just gonna talk to you about this, because I need some spiritual counseling". You already know what the word says, you don't need counseling, you need obedience. Hey, I'm talking to myself too. If you don't like this, I'll preach to me. Now, "Bless and do not curse them". Woo! And if he's hungry, feed him. If he's thirsty, give him something to drink. If his car breaks down and he needs a ride to work, give him one. Come on, I'm amplifying. If he's gonna move, offer to help. Oh, I tell you what, when people have been mean to you, and you know, everybody doesn't realize what they're doing. But if somebody, like, if you work with somebody that really treats you bad, they do it often enough, they know it. And sometimes an unbeliever will treat you bad, just because you're a Christian. Because just your presence makes them feel guilty.

Come on, they wanna find something wrong with you, so they don't have to look at what's wrong with them. That's what my dad did. I mean, he was as mean as a snake, and he found something wrong with everybody. "Well, bless God, I'm just as good as they are". Well...Okay, I'm gonna say something else, and I want you to remember this. Satan gains more ground in the life of the believer through unforgiveness, than any other single thing. If we could just get a whole church to get along, there's no telling us what would happen, because the anointing would be so strong. See, we kill the anointing with strife. And I know we don't preach much about the anointing today, but we need that more than we need anything else. The anointing is God's presence and power on our lives.
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