By Jeffrey Boney (Houston Forward Times, NNPA Member)
I have come a long way and have been through quite a bit on my journey here on Earth and if there’s one thing about life that I’ve figured out, it’s that at some point in your life you’ll have to face some form of personal opposition, and you can’t be afraid when its come your way.
In the Bible, Psalms 27:1 reads, “The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear?”
Many times we live our lives based off of fear and what others will or can do to us. We have to abandon that mode of thinking and replace any of those fears with confidence and boldness.
See, there are times when you can easily identify the people who oppose you, and sometimes you can’t. Rest assured, however, in everything you do, you’ll have opposition. You have to not only look for them, but you also need to be prepared for them whenever they decide to come at you.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been lied on, taken advantage of, cheated out of things, had things stolen from me, and overlooked by members of the opposing team who did not have my best interest at heart. It didn’t matter how loyal I was to them, or how much I contributed to their success in life, there have been people that have come into my life who have done any and everything in their power to try and hurt, harm and even destroy me for their own selfish reasons.
I’ve encountered three types of people in my life that have shown me some level of opposition. I will call them “Team Opposition” and they have lots of members.
The first members of Team Opposition are your competitors. The one thing you need to know about your competitors, is that they really don’t harbor any ill-feelings in their heart, nor do they have anything against you personally. These team members may or may not be close personal friends, but what made them your competitor is that you’re both pursuing one or more of the same goals and primarily want the same thing. A competitor wants to win and wants to beat you.
A great example of what a competitor looks like, in order to help you understand, would be in the area of sports. There are so many examples to choose from, such as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox; or Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier; or the Democrats versus the Republicans; or being a proud alumnus of Jack Yates High School, we have always had Phillis Wheatley High School as one of our fiercest competitors. In everything we did, we wanted to beat our competitor, claim bragging rights and bring home the championship. It never ceases.
A competitor is going to do everything in their power to compete against you on every level and try to beat you every time if they can. At the end of the day, however, a competitor understands that it’s just a competition and wants to simply be the best at what they do. A competitor always understands that, whether they win or lose, it’s strictly business. It’s never personal.
Now, a competitor is different than the next member of Team Opposition – your adversary.
You have run across this person regularly, in that your adversary is the person who never agrees with anything you say, or goes against everything you stand for. It matters not what you say; matters not what you do; and matters not what you believe. Your adversary wants to argue you down, prove you wrong, and in most cases, challenge your every thought and action. If you say the sky is blue, they’ll say the sky is green. If you say one restaurant has the best food, they’ll say it is another restaurant instead. If you say the weather is hot, they’ll say it’s cold. If you say you like a particular song, they’ll rip the song apart and give you the reasons why the song sucks.
Your opponent is always going to confront you and be adversarial about nearly every single thing you engage in for as long as you are in their proximity. Your adversary will go out of their way to get people on their side, so as to prove a point or get their message across. Your adversary is mostly driven by jealousy, envy or anger, because the majority of them are either insecure or have experienced some significant disappointments in their life that have contributed to their emotional instability. Your adversary has made up in their minds that they either want to be you or that they want what you have.
Lastly, I want to address the member of Team Opposition who is the most dangerous of all of the three members – your enemy.
Listen, your enemy isn’t concerned about beating you at all. Your enemy has one primary goal in mind and that is to utterly destroy you and annihilate everything you stand for. See, your enemy knows that if they beat you, you have a chance to bounce back and recover and come back on the scene for round two of the fight. Your enemy doesn’t want you to be their competitor and they don’t want you to be their adversary. Your enemy wants to take you out by any means necessary. Most of your enemies have been plotting and planning for some time to lay a trap for you in order to take you out, but you may have been to blind to see it because these members of Team Opposition are sometimes the hardest to identify until the very moment they strike like a venomous snake against you.
In the Bible, the Pharisees, Sadducees and chief priests had one agenda; they wanted to kill Jesus Christ. These religious hypocrites didn’t want to do anything else but kill the one man they despised. These members of Team Opposition constantly plotted and looked for ways to kill Jesus, and didn’t stop until they got exactly what they wanted – his crucifixion. Sadly, it was one of the twelve disciples, Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus and sold him out for only thirty pieces of silver. Your enemy will use anyone, even those closest to you, to hurt and destroy you.
In the 1984 movie “The Terminator,” Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a cyborg assassin who was programmed and sent back in time to do one thing: “kill Sarah Connor.” That was his mission and that is the mission of your enemy. Your enemy is reckless and will say and do anything to ruin your character, destroy your name and take what you have. They have allowed themselves to be programmed with evil intent and they are committed to fulfilling their mission at all costs.
All of us have to be wise and vigilant so as to know what members of Team Opposition we are dealing with and to put each of them in their proper place in our mental rolodex for the future.
Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper. Jeffrey is a frequent contributor on the Nancy Grace Show and has a daily radio talk show called Real Talk with Jeffrey L. Boney. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org