Watch your friends, but keep a closer watch on what your enemies are doing. Your friends could betray you, but you never know what you can expect with your enemies. Enemies are more lethal, because they are always scheming against you. Friends can still attack you, but they don’t necessarily make you nervous or afraid.
Jesus drew close to His enemies, because He wanted to persuade them to think differently. He wanted to give them a chance to change. He did lead some to repentance, but others became only more embittered to do Him harm. Even with those individuals, He spoke with them, ate with them, and prayed with them.
I don’t think it’s good to establish enemies-that just gives you a basis for hate and wanting to destroy people, which is contrary to the Christian lifestyle. But sometimes you can’t help it, people will oppose you and you have to be ready for it. Before you know it, they consider you their enemy, and the battle lines are drawn. When that happens, your only options are to fight back or watch your footing. Personally, I think the best thing you can do is to watch your footing, and give in to a reason for attack last. In watching your footing, talk the talk, and walk the walk, not giving anyone a reason to call you a hypocrite. Be apprised of what your enemies are doing, so you are equipped with knowledge should you be faced with the decision to fight back. And when an attack must come, think of what the bigger picture is. Is it about you being right, or doing what’s right? If it’s about you being right, are you able to live with yourself if you fail? If it’s doing what’s right, are you prepared to fail and still be true to yourself? Those are hard questions.
No sane person desires having enemies. Yet it happens, sometimes just by being born. Enemies are born of the mindset of wanting control, getting rid of the people who oppose you. But since we are to keep our enemies closer than our friends, I believe that also involves being more loving to them, in that you try to relate to them on the level of being fellow humans, so in hurting them you are hurting a part of yourself. That in itself should give us all pause when wanting to lash out at each other.
There are times in our lives when our friends become our enemies. I think the saying is also for this reason. Life truly brings about unexpected twists and turns.