When I get stung I want to squash the nasty bugger that did the stinging.
I want to swat the offending insect…out of the air and grind him into the dirt.
The same is true of how I want to respond to those who hurt me!
But I have learned over the years that my way is not God’s way and guess whose way is the best?
Romans 12:20, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty,
give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” (NIV)
All right let’s take a closer look at this for a moment…
Why, if you are being kind to someone that has caused you heart ache would you now heap burning coals on his head?
Well the best place to find this answer would be in the Old Testament in the book of Proverbs.
And here is where we can shed some understanding on the whole matter…
Proverbs 25:22 states in response to your enemy…
“You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the Lord will reward you.” (NLT)
At the time the proverbs were written, in Egypt,
a sign that a person felt great shame or remorse
would be indicated as they carried around a bowl full of burning coals on their head.
Everyone seeing this would understand that the person was making it known publicly
that they had “wronged” someone and they were sorry.
So this is what happens when we show kindness to our enemies
we will drive them towards a place in their hearts of admission of their own guilt.
The verse concerning coals is about the emotional sorrow a rival will feel when you stir his sense of
right and wrong in regards to his conduct towards you.
So why not show kindness to someone who is like the nasty hornet.
Here are some key guidelines for us as believers…
Be at peace with everyone
Overcome evil with good
Allow God to be God and don’t take revenge
Display God’s grace and love in all that you do
Don’t allow the hate of someone else, control how you respond
Study the things that make for peace, and then put them into action
Do not take revenge …do not to seek vengeance
God will right all wrongs in His own perfect judgment
Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
When you “wake up” someone’s heart, in regards to their bad behavior by your love “for your enemies”,
you can help to reveal the Lord’s plan for their lives.
It shows the love that awaits those who call on His name and trust that Jesus is the Son of God.
That Jesus centered himself on the cross for all of us…
John 3:16-17, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge,
but to be its savior.” (GNT)