An adversary is defined as "one who takes up a position of antagonism, or acts in a hostile manner, an opponent, antagonist, an enemy, foe, opposed, antagonistic, hostile, inimical." An adversary is one step removed from being an outright enemy. In the world of business, the adversarial opposition comes from your competitors or those who are jealous of your success, your talents, and your gifts.

“Agree with thine adversary quickly,
whiles thou art in the way with him.” – Matthew 5:25.

Adversaries provide you with endless initiations. You can never be successful in dealing with them if you view them in personal terms as being yours, or take their speech and actions personally. You can pass every initiation when you realize that they oppose God or a principle you are expressing.

Ruth Johnson, long a student and teacher of Edna Lister's work, often quoted what Dr. Lister had told her: “Never try to love what people do. Love people for what they are, the children of God. Love them impersonally, ‘out there,’ not up close.”

Edna Lister on Adversaries

Your personal adversary is the subconscious mind of appetitive soul, the seat of emotions. – Edna Lister, The Sermon on the Mount, January 31, 1933.

Contact the high Power until even your enemies bow before the grace that emanates from the Light in you. – Edna Lister, September 22, 1939.

"Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison." – Matthew 5:25. This verse covers all problems with the self. The appetitive soul of the self is the adversary, Oversoul is the judge, and the rational soul is the officer. Self casts you into prison. Soul lifts you into Light. – Edna Lister, Vows, January 7, 1940.

When you assume the role of "judge," you think in terms of enemies, and those so declared surely become adversaries who then judge you. – Edna Lister, Five Keys to the Kingdom, 1945.

"Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him." – Matthew 5:25. Work at this law until you have no enemy to agree with, no wrong to forgive, no harm or hurt ever given or spoken to you. When you accept all that the balance of law gives you as yours, and value it as precious jewels, you will be free of the small self. Then only do you truly accept all that comes to you as your own. – Edna Lister, March 12, 1945.

An open mind always stands ready to receive a gift from every adversary. – Edna Lister, Six Creative Laws: The Keys of the Kingdom, September 1, 1945.

You have five seconds in which to declare the adversary good where he is. – Edna Lister, I Remember, October 8, 1950.

Thousands of men and women in the business world have quit at the brink of success because some detractor spoke a harsh word that demoralized them. You cannot kid yourself by being humble on the outside and hurt or angry inside. Humbleness is not humility, which is the essence of God's Love in action. Bite your tongue under trying circumstances. Look upon the adversary with true, deep compassion and lift. – Edna Lister, Prove Me Now, October 28, 1951.

No one gets anywhere until he has fifty active, powerful, dynamic enemies. Lift your head above the crowd; you can never achieve until you rise above your adversaries. – Edna Lister, Ye Are Gods, November 30, 1952.

People who say, "I cannot agree," still believe in enemies. To believe in an enemy creates an adversary, a dark cloud of force, an entity that clings to you. If you hold a single enemy-thought in your subconscious, you will create an adversary. – Edna Lister, I Accept, June 27, 1954.

You subject yourself to the idea of outer enemies but you, yourself, are your greatest enemy. You create the adversary who rides you with a whip and spurs. Each alone must conquer the enemy-idea, the enemy of self. No power on earth can make you have an enemy if you refuse to accept the enemy idea or give it form and substance. Another may tell you that you have an enemy but you create it. – Edna Lister, The Well of Living Waters, July 31, 1955.

You subject yourself to enemy ideas. No one on the outside can ever create your adversary, yet they may "suggest" them to you with a look, a word or an action that tempts you to mistrust. – Edna Lister, Living Waters, September 4, 1955.

When you truly hunger and thirst to be one with God, you forget every enemy and adversary. – Edna Lister, As I See the World, June 15, 1958.

One way God gets people back in heaven is to let your persecutors concentrate on you. If you act as loving as God, love's Light will all heal them. – Edna Lister, October 9, 1958.

"Be diligent because your adversary the devil walks about, seeking whom he may devour." – 1 Peter 5:8. Your little self is the devil that waits to tempt, drag you down and devour you. – Edna Lister, Imagination Is Your Crown, June 21, 1959.

You will have adversaries until you follow the law of "What is that to thee? Follow thou me." – John 21:22. You need not love what people do, but lift and declare that the result of their action is Light; step aside and let the Power do the work. – Edna Lister, God Is Safe and Dependable, June 5, 1960.

When an adversary approaches, you must know instantly what is right or wrong for you, then stand silently and hold fast to your own right way. – Edna Lister, Five Important Steps in Ascension, 1968.

The adversary is the petty little self's substance that you have invested in everything. There is no difference between a country and a man; you invest soul substance when you criticize them, and give them a chunk of your soul to live on. – Edna Lister, From Surrender of Self to Soul Ascension, May 16, 1971.

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Treatments for Perceived Adversaries

To agree with an adversary means to love God more than self, reach up to the heart of God and love Him. Then agree with your adversary by saying, "How wonderful you are." In the business world, you can mentally shout it. – Edna Lister, I Accept, June 27, 1954.

Put the soul who makes himself the adversary in a sphere of Light. – Edna Lister, Before the Beginning, I Am, November 3, 1963.

Give no thought to the adversary except, "This is good. You are good. Let there be Light. I love you." – Edna Lister, Am I Strong to Endure, December 18, 1966.

To say, "How wonderful you are," to an adversary lifts you out of slavery to the world and into your own sun center of Light, where nothing can touch you. To use praise for an adversary frustrates him until he forgets his original intention and departs. – Edna Lister, Five Important Steps in Ascension, 1968.

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New Testament on Adversaries

Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. – Matthew 5:25.

Every kingdom [consciousness] divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.

When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite. – Luke 12:58‑59.

I [Christ] will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. – Luke 21:15.

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. – Luke 23:33-34.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. – 1 Peter 5:8.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 – 1971
The original Christian Pioneering Mystic,
Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of adversary: Latin adversarius, "enemy," from adversus, "against."

Adversaries provide initiations.


The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Related Topics

See Agreeing and Adjusting

See Conflict

See Enemies