And what a delight it is to make friends with someone you have despised.
Hmmm. When I first read this, it stopped me in my tracks. I thought, the last person that I would want to make friends with is someone that I despise. Eeewww! The thought of this being delightful was more than my mind could comprehend. But as I gave it more thought, I realized, yes, I can see this as being a delight. If I actually despise someone, I must actually care deeply for them. If I despise them, most likely I have invested a lot of energy into this person, but unfortunately it has been negative. But, if I did not care about them, I would not have invested any time at all.
If I respond to this person in my natural self, sometimes the negative energy becomes almost an obsession. It can consume my time, gnawing at my self-esteem and taking my focus off of what really matters. But, with God's help, there can be one moment of lightening like change; a moment of release from the bonds of obsession. The other person is after all, just another person, like me, and loved by God. If I cared enough to devote my time and energy to disliking this person, it is very likely they might be someone who would be rewarding to know. Thus, delight. Aha!
God gives me the opportunity to turn over many negative feelings, to discover that "friend" and "enemy" can be two sides of the same person.
Now this all sounds lovely, but I have to admit, I still find a little fear when it comes to trying to make friends with someone who despises me! (yes, there are one or two of these people) This does not feel safe to me since I don't know if the one who considers me his/her enemy would find making friends with me delightful. So, I will continue to walk in grace and forgiveness here...between God and myself, and keep the boundaries that protect me from harm and pain.
But, in my own life, in my own heart, I will look at myself and see whether I am clinging to obsessive concerns over other people and if so, I will resolve to let them go.