Difficult Kindness-Proverbs 25:21-22

Proverbs 25:21-22 “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. 22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.”
Proverbi 25:21-22 «Se il tuo nemico ha fame, dagli del pane da mangiare; se ha sete, dagli dell’acqua da bere; 22 perché, così, radunerai dei carboni accesi sul suo capo, e il Signore ti ricompenserà.»
 
     Kindness is listed as a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22. For the most part, easy kindness requires little effort. Our human nature feels compassion for the needs of others and a sense of goodness fills our hearts.
     But this passage doesn’t describe easy kindness. It describes difficult kindness first of all because it is toward an enemy. Aiding and abetting an enemy seems contrary to anyone’s way of thinking. But there is also a bigger point here that coincides with extending kindness to your enemy. It sounds like the idea of revenge.
     But notice that the result of kindness to one’s enemy is compassion, not revenge. Revenge seems to be a natural instinct to enemies but believers should practice a life of compassion to whoever crosses their path. Paul quotes this same passage in Romans 12:20. He had his share of enemies. Even more strongly, Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” (Matthew 5:44).
     The idea of “heaping coals” implies that when someone has need of coals to start a fire, you should show kindness by placing a pan of coals upon your head and carry it to their campsite. Revenge should never be the attitude of the believer.
Allow the Lord to exact justice in His time. A continual disposition of kindness and compassion to everyone, even enemies, may be the thing that causes a change of heart and attitude in them.
Pray with me: Lord, when I think about this passage, I find it difficult to apply it to my life. Even when I was an enemy of the faith, You showed me kindness and compassion. Help me to reflect what You have done in me to others even when it is difficult.


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