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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

Who Is Your Enemy?

I find myself in a quandary.

While I deplore the atrocities of war, I’m hesitant to suggest that one nation’s aggression is the will of all people in that nation.

The world has watched as Russia invades Ukraine in the last week or so. We’ve witnessed the courage of the Ukrainians defending themselves. We’ve observed other European, and World nations denounce Russia’s encroachment.

Press reports indicate that Belarusian soldiers are joining Russia to destroy Ukraine. War creates division. Whose side will you support? Who is your friend, and who is your enemy?

All of this brings me back to my dilemma.

I have friends in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Georgia, and Armenia. They are dear to me. I’ve experienced their love, care, kindness, generosity, and graciousness. They are not my enemy!

And, it’s naïve to lump all Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians, or Americans into one category (good or bad).

Perhaps the apostle Paul’s observation helps put things in perspective:

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” - Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

I’m also choosing to remember what Jesus taught me:

“For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” - Mark 7:21–23 (ESV) [Emphasis, mine]

Today I’m praying that God will stop the forces of evil. I’m asking God to strengthen and protect my friends and all of the “Peacekeepers” in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, and Eastern Europe. Will you join me in praying for them?

Are you looking for a place to receive spiritual direction and encouragement in these challenging times? Please consider joining my mailing list. Each Wednesday you’ll receive my latest blog posts with practical content designed to support you in your life and faith.

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