Summary: This series is based on Charles Stanley’s book "Landmines". The two messages on SC are two landmines which Dr. Stanley did not include. I highly recommend readding his book.
The Landmine of Animosity
* It was May 12, 1970, when Army Corporal Robert Earl Green of Purvis, MS, was killed in the Vietnam War. We were told that he stepped on a landmine. Although they sent his body home, the casket was unopened because of the damage to Bobby’s body. This is the nature of a landmine.
* Candidly, it was only this morning at about 6:30 as I began to think a challenge given to me last night that this landmine leaped out at me. Let us consider a landmine which is doing much damage in the body of Christ. More specifically, there is evidence that this landmine is being ignited among us. At first blush you may say, “Not so.” Yet, many who listen, hear, and even watch us perceive this landmine is present and stepped on regularly. For a landmine to be effective, it must be well-hidden and easily ignited. Such is the case for the landmine of animosity.
* Animosity defined is a deep-seated feeling or spirit of ill will & resentment arousing active hostility. This word comes from the Latin word ‘animus’, which denotes mind and spirit. Think of your mind and spirit being consumed with negative feelings toward someone or something.
* There are many cases of ‘animosity’ found in the Bible. It’s never pretty, good, or found in the life of someone who is sold out to the Lord. Because of his anger, Cain developed a hatred for his brother and ultimately killed him. While we may ‘say’ we are not killing anyone, the Bible teaches that everyone who hates his brother is a murderer. (1 John 3:15) The 10 brothers of Joseph held animosity in their hearts toward him for many reasons. Whether they were justified or not, to read what they put their brother through is untenable. In the case of Modecai and Haman, Haman’s animosity was so great that it ultimately consumed him & backfired on him. We can list Esau & Jacob, David & Saul, and bring the list all the way to the Pharisees and Jesus. Animosity is an ugly disease. It works like cancer. It gets a small weak place in a life and it spreads to destruction.
* For purposes of study, turn to 1 Samuel 18, and let’s see a case study of animosity in part of the story of Saul and David. (Read)
* This story could be bound and probably become a best-seller because of the deceit, lying, manipulating, and corruptness found within. It all boils down to one person being eaten up with animosity. Consider 4 thoughts.
1. The Origin of Animosity – What is its origin? In simple terms, it is found in the depravity of man, it’s our nature. Yet, to review the Biblical stories as well as observe human behavior, we discover the major reasons;
a. Jealousy – Does any among us need a lesson in the ugliness of ‘jealousy’ and ‘envy?’ Cain’s jealousy of God accepting Abel’s offering while rejecting his own, led to fatal anger. The 10 brothers of Joseph became so jealous of Jacob’s attention that they wanted to kill him.
* The jealousy of Saul toward David, led to Saul’s own son turning against him. I submit that, when embraced, jealousy is one origin for Satan’s tool of animosity. Anytime he can get a person to be jealous, he is in.
b. Unforgiveness – The reason this is on every list of problems for people is because this is a problem for people. We recognize that we need to forgive, but honestly, we don’t really ‘let go of it.’ Scripture is replete with commands to forgive, how often, and even ties our forgiveness to our forgiving. Yet, we harbor grudges, think and speak ill of others when given the chance, and we hold on to this ill will for years. It is a sad day in the family of God when brothers & sisters hang on to bitterness, resentment, and hostility for another. Here’s the question; do you hold any ill will toward anyone else? Do you know of someone who is harboring a grudge against anyone else? If so, are you a friend or one who empowers ‘unforgiveness?’
c. Pride – In the life of King Saul we see both pride and jealousy looming large. He is jealous of the women singing about ’10,000’ for David and only ‘1,000’ for him. Saul wanted to be the ‘top gun’ and desired for the credit to come to him. The same thing can be seen in the life of Haman. He was promoted by the King and strutted around for all to see and Mordecai wasn’t impressed and refused to cower. Ultimately Haman was hung on the same gallows he had built for Modecai. Pride, jealousy, self promoting & the like may cause to you being hanged by your own rope.