“Keep Your Enemies Close”
A Lesson in Humility from Sirius Black
I never fully understood the statement, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”
Why would you want frenemies? Who wants that kind of toxic energy lingering around all the time? Not me. But, I heard it’s important to at least know a thing or two about your enemies. Otherwise, they can use our ignorance to walk all over us!
In sports, you want to leverage your athletic strengths and smartest plays, which includes knowing where your opponents fall short.
Or, we can put this in movie terms:
Lord Voldemort v. Harry Potter
* * * SPOILER ALERT AHEAD * * *
Skip to the next bold line if you haven’t finished the 5th installment yet! Skip NOW. Do it. Don’t ruin the best adventure series to ever exist (and don’t @ me for that).
Okay, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Ol’ Vordy knows Harry’s weakness — that Voldemort can infiltrate Harry’s visions and lead him astray. Harry, being the curious and often times stubborn ‘boy who lived,’ follows Voldy’s lure through a vision of Sirius Black getting tortured at the Department of Mysteries. So, Harry and friends sneak out and get themselves into a brutal battle of good vs. evil that ultimately ends in the death of Siri… I can’t even finish the sentence without tearing up.
I can’t help but equate Voldemort with Satan.
Voldemort, once the handsome, promising young Tom Riddle, could have gone on to be one of the best wizard graduates to come out of Hogwarts.
Lucifer, once “the perfect man— so full of wisdom and perfectly handsome” (Ezekiel 28:12), could have gone on to be heaven’s best and brightest “anointed guardian angel.”
Instead, they both got greedy. They wanted more power. They wanted to overtake the throne. And they coaxed an evil army to follow them.
After the world ends, I’d like to think God will give everyone in hell one final chance to go to heaven. You might be thinking — after being tormented in the flames of hell, who wouldn't take Him up on that offer? You’d be absolutely bonkers not to, right? But I was reading this excerpt from Dr. David Jeremiah’s book The Spiritual Warfare Answer Book, and he mentions this:
“After being defeated and chained in a lake of fire, Satan is still not willing to accept defeat… In fact, so great is Satan’s arrogance that, even after being cast out of heaven, he has continued to work to subvert the plans of God by corrupting His most prized creation: mankind.”
I don’t understand why Satan keeps choosing to rebel from God. To honor his own ego over honoring God. Must be exhausting. But that also makes me realize — angels have free will, just like us!
Don't fall into the devil's trap. Pride of the death of Lucifer.
And it could be the death of us.
Dr. David Jeremiah goes on to say:
“It is a warning to us as Christians that, since Satan’s personality is characterized by pride, he will tempt us by using the same weakness in ourselves.”
Pride could come in the extreme forms of killing, hurting, and manipulating. But it’s more often found in the subtle forms — the doubts we tell ourselves late at night, the not-so-innocent pop culture we constantly consume, even the self-praising social media pictures we post. It all becomes unhealthy after a certain point.
Let’s keep our pride in check. Our weapon: humility.
That’s how we evade our enemies and defeat the Enemy.
And in knowing when and how to do so, we can keep our frenemies just close enough to look them in the eye, then run right past them and into the arms of our real friends.
As Sirius Black once said from the inside of a fireplace,