Monday, 13 June 2011

Monday Manna on a Tuesday- Our worst enemy

I first read the diary of Anne Frank (well-known Holocaust victim) when I was 13 years old, the same age that Anne was when she started writing. I recently reread her diary and was moved so much by her story.

There are many other nameless people who have also suffered great injustice in their lives, not just during the Holocaust but throughout the entire history of the human race. The Roman philosopher Cicero said, "Man is his own worst enemy."  The sins and mistakes of those around us wound us but often we also sabotage ourselves. A small example is when we try to convince someone of our point of view (we want them to understand our hurt feelings or to better understand our needs and rights) but the more we try, the further we alienate that person. Perhaps it is because they are also busy trying to make us understand them. 

Anne Frank's last entry in her diary before she was found by the Nazi's has something very profound written in it...Consider that Anne was stuck in a tiny attic with 7 other people for 2 whole years! Hunger and also the tension created by their fear of discovery meant that the relationships grew strained. Anne writes, 

"I am trying very hard to change myself but I'm always up against a more powerful enemy... 

Keep trying to find a way to become what I'd like to be and what I could be if...if only there were no other people in the world."  (diary ends here).

In each of us is the potential to reflect God's character. However, in each of us is also a natural selfishness which makes it hard sometimes to relate to others. How can we win against our 'strong enemy'? I believe the only way is to turn to God for help. We need someone stronger than ourselves! Only by having a relationship with Him who is loving, patient, understanding, forgiving strong, courageous and kind can we also have those character traits in us as we relate to others.

 "Hear my cry, O God;
   listen to my prayer.
 From the ends of the earth will I call to you,
   When my heart is overwhelmed,
   lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
   a strong tower from the enemy."  

      Psalms 61.

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