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The suspense kept you on the edge of your seat as you watched the lone actress winding her way down the dark alley. It was obvious from the intensifying music that tragedy was eminent. With each step, the tension mounted for the character…and for you, knowing at any moment the enemy would step from the shadows to attack.

Enemies, bad guys, villains, bullies: all are expected to attack. But not friends – or should we call them “friendenemies?” These individuals blindside us – take our breath away – because they are so unexpected.  Unnatural and often unjustified, these attacks happen far too often and without warning.

David experienced this as much as any person in the scriptures. King Saul attacked him with a javelin (1 Sam 18:9-15), and then pursued him like an animal (1 Sam 21-26). His own son turned against him, trying to take his kingdom and kill him (2 Sam 15). It would have been easier if his attackers had been one of his enemies like the Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Canaanites, instead of friends.

In Psalm 52, David is in the midst of attack again. Saul, and one of his “Yes men,” Doeg, are creating chaos for him unjustly. In this time of trouble, David made the noble choice to trust God.

David shows us an example of how to deal with the injustice of being attacked by friends. He gives us, “4 Answers for Dealing with Friendenemies.”

  1. Trust – v. 8, He determined to trust in God’s steadfast, unchanging love. Friends may change their minds, actions and attitudes towards us but we can rest in the unchanging love of God.
  2. Stop – v. 9, He realized God was the one working through him and he decided to stop trying to fix things on his own. God does not need our help; He wants our surrender.
  3. Surround – v. 9, He chose the presence of the “saints,” those who were like-minded. We have to seek out those who are going in the same direction and share our passion for God.
  4. Wait – v. 9, He decided to follow God rather than run ahead of Him. When unjustly attacked, it is easy to run ahead of God. Many times, we live to regret the impulsive action we took. One of life’s toughest decisions is learning to trust in God’s choices on our behalf.

As a believer, we have an enemy and it is not each other. Let’s, vow to spend our time fighting the real enemy and not be “friendenemies.”

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  1. That’s good stuff, maybe for the sake of clarity you could make a distinction between wounds from a friend and friendenemies because it is written that a wounding friend is far better than a kissing enemy. Sound article though.
    -Dan Bacon WOLBI 08-10

    • Dan, you have an excellent point! We definitely need our friends speaking into our lives and confronting us. True biblical discipleship requires that”Iron sharpen Iron,” (Proverbs 27:7). I am not obviously negating the type of input which is designed to encourage, correct or motivate. I am referring to the type meant to tear down and harm. Thank you for joining the conversation and for helping me clarify the point. Mike

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