It is another great week of life as we trek together. The lessons that we can learn together and the strength that we can gain from one another helps our trek of life to be more enjoyable. Our goal is to live a rich and satisfying life while making a positive impact on everyone that we meet. By doing so, we can create a living legacy each day.
As we begin our note, one observation that I have made in life is that many of our problems with others and with situations of life are actually struggles that we are facing internally. We also tend to judge others in the same manner that we are judging ourselves. As Shakespeare wrote in his play The Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks,” which suggests that those issues that we protest most strongly against are the very ones that we are struggling with.
I have seen this play out in business, organizations, and even more so in churches. The Bible also refers to this in Matthew 7:1-3, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?”
So my exhortation on this topic is to be very careful when making a judgment against someone else because it may be the very demon that you struggle with internally. This brings us to the trail that we want to hike today which is how we conquer the six enemies within.
Let me tell you about six enemies we face from within.
The first enemy within is fear. We are not born with courage, but neither are we born with fear. Our fears are typically brought on by our own experiences – by what someone has told us or by what we’ve read in the news. Some fears are valid, like walking alone in a bad part of town at two o’clock in the morning. But once we learn to avoid that situation, we don’t need to live in fear of it.
Fears, even the most basic ones, can totally destroy our ambitions. Fear can destroy fortunes. Fear can destroy relationships. Fear, if left unchecked, can destroy our lives. Fear is one of the many enemies lurking inside us.
If we are living a life of integrity and truth, we have no legitimate reason to fear. The Apostle Paul gave this encouragement in his letter to the Church of Rome in Chapter 8 verse 15, “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.'”
Also in his 2nd letter to his protégé Timothy, Paul sent this encouragement in Chapter 1 verse 7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” So I encourage you to be bold and move forward not hindered by fear.
The second enemy that we’ve got to destroy before it destroys us is indifference. What a tragic disease this is. The man says, “Ho-hum, let it slide. I’ll just drift along.” But the problem with drifting is we can’t drift our way to the top of the mountain.
The third enemy we face is indecision. Indecision is the thief of opportunity and enterprise. It will steal our chances for a better future. Take a sword to this enemy.
The fourth enemy inside is doubt. Sure, there’s room for healthy skepticism. We can’t believe everything. But, we also can’t let doubt take over. Many people doubt the past, doubt the future, doubt each other, doubt the government, doubt the possibilities, and doubt the opportunities. Worse of all, they doubt themselves. I’m telling you, doubt will destroy your life and your chances of success. It will empty both your bank account and your heart. Doubt is an enemy. Go after it. Get rid of it.
The fifth enemy within is worry. We’ve all got to worry some. Just don’t let it conquer you. Instead, let it alarm you. Worry can be useful. If you step off the curb in New York City and a taxi is coming, you’ve got to worry. But you can’t let worry loose like a mad dog that drives you into a small corner. You’ve got to drive your worries into a small corner. Whatever is out to get you, you’ve got to get it. Whatever is pushing on you, you’ve got to push back.
The sixth interior enemy is over-caution. This is a bit different than debilitating fear. It is the timid approach to life. Timidity is not a virtue. It is unlike humility; they are different. In fact, it can be an illness. If you let it go, it’ll conquer you. Timid people don’t get promoted. They don’t advance and grow and make an impact on the world. You’ve got to avoid over- caution.
Do battle with these enemies. Do battle with your fears. Build your courage to fight what’s holding you back, what’s keeping you from your goals and dreams. “Be courageous in your life and in your pursuit of the things you want and the person you want to become.”
In the Old Testament, we get the idea that Moses’s understudy, Joshua, may have been a bit timid or overly cautious because God had to tell him several times to be strong and courageous as is written in Joshua 1:7-8, “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
In this note, we discovered the six enemies that we face within and learned how to battle each one. The more victories that we have with these enemies, the weaker they become. You can gain strength to do battle by listening each day to our Wisdom-Trek Podcast, where we work at creating a living legacy.