Have I discovered a new word?
As I switched off the radio talk show, I thought I heard a new word. Had I misheard or had the speaker stumbled over their words? Of course by the time I switched back on, the discussion had moved on, so I never did find out if I heard correctly. The word was frenemy.
What does it mean?
Perhaps I heard wrong and have just invented a new word, in which case I can decide its meaning. For me it sounds like a friend who was once an enemy. And that seems like something that Jesus would support, for wasn't He the one that said love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you? Given that Palestine at that time was ruled by the Romans, who were infamous for their cruelty to anyone that opposed them, that was a huge ask.
And He wasn't just talking about neighbours or workmates that we don't get along with. Jesus knew that His disciples would have real enemies and face death from those that opposed them, including those in the established Jewish religion who hated this challenge to their beliefs.
It's not natural
But that was Jesus. He also said things like, if someone slaps you on one cheek, offer them the other; or if someone sues you for your shirt give them your coat also. Now I don't know about you, but these attitudes and actions don't come naturally, so that must be part of why Jesus came, to show us a better way of life. If He was alive today, we would call His teaching counter-cultural. Now there's a fancy word (or is it two?). Either way, it describes the higher standards that we should try to imitate as we follow Christ.
Actually if we believe that Jesus was the Son of God, we become God's frenemies. Previously our sins made us enemies of God, but by Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, we don't just become God's friends, but He welcomes us into His family. How wonderful is that?!
Time for action
Now if we can actually become friends with God, after all we have done in our lives that upset Him, surely we can forgive others?
Are there people in our lives that we need to forgive and make them our frenemy? If so there can there be a better time to put that right than now?
Or do we first have to start by accepting God's offer to us?