Give your enemy a face, If he is human, do not dehumanize him. Know him and know why he is your enemy. If your enemy is within you, understand what it is and why you are afraid. Put a face on your fear. When you understand it, and it is no longer vague and shapeless, you will find that your fear is no longer so formidable.
Don’t rejoice at thy enemy’s fall–but don’t rush to pick him up either.
“Who is the bravest hero? He who turns his enemy into a friend”
“Remember, the enemy’s gate is down.”
— Orson Scott Card
“Come, then, affliction, if my Father wills, and be my frowning friend. A friend that frowns is better than a smiling enemy. “
Interestingly, this scripture [in Ephesians 6] uses the word “wrestle” to describe the conflict. The most disciplined athletes I know are wrestlers. In most other sports the players are given a “time out” to catch their breath–not in wrestling. The wrestler has to be in top physical form. Once he enters the ring he can’t let his guard down for even a second or his opponent will pin him to the mat.
Christians can’t say, “Time out, Devil. I need a breather.” He doesn’t take weekends off or Mondays off. He doesn’t take it easy when you’ve been through a tragedy. That’s when he pours on the heat. He’s the original “kick’em while they’re down” person. He is totally evil. He has no sense of mercy, sympathy or what it means to have a fair fight.
“Escaping goblins to be caught by wolves!” he said, and it became a proverb, though we now say ‘out of the frying-pan into the fire’ in the same sort of uncomfortable situations.”
— J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again)
“It is perilous to study too deeply the arts of the Enemy, for good or for ill.”
— J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring)
“For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
— J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King)
“Never laugh at live dragons”
“Speak politely to an enraged dragon.”
“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
— J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)
Gandalf: Be on your guard. There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.
Gandalf: You cannot pass! I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the Flame of Anor. The dark fire will not avail you, Flame of Udun! Go back to the shadow. You shall not pass!
A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.
ARAGORN, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King