We all have enemies. If we are faithful to the Word of God, then some people will have vile, hate-filled enemies who openly display their animosity. Some enemies attempt to hide their disdain and many people might simply dislike us without open hatred.
But how should we treat people who we simply do not understand? Some of these people we might simply need to spend more time with to truly grasp their intentions. But some people are difficult to “read.”
Jesus clearly said, “He that is not with me is against me;” (Matthew 12:30), but we are more like the servants attempting to determine if someone is a tare or wheat. A tare is a plant that looks just like wheat until is time to put forth grains of wheat. Our responsibility is to treat everyone who claims to be a believer as a believer.
At the same time “Vengeance is mine; I will repay saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:9) God knows and understands every heart. We are not to cast our pearls before swine, we are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. We are to be kind and let our speech always be seasoned with salt.
We are also to be skilled in the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. As one Preacher said, God has given us the responsibility to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
Directed by the Spirit of God we are to use the Word of God appropriately, with love and kindness. Yet at the same time we must be skillful and discerning in dealing with heresy.
We have the responsibility to be faithful to God and His Word. That means edifying and building up those faithful to the Word of God, rebuking heresy, and discerning the differences. Let all things be done in love means binding the broken but also standing up to the flaming arrows of the Wicked One.
The greatest problem I see is knowing the difference between friend and foe.