“If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the Lord will reward you.” 25:1
I quite like this verse. It gave me a lot to think about as my family weaved through the roads of Wyoming on our road trip this morning.
I set my Bible down and asked myself who are my enemies? A name or two came to mind (including whoever stole my favorite, perfectly-worn-in sweatshirt in college, by the way, the grudge is strong). But the actual definition of an enemy is someone who hates you. It doesn’t mention a mutual distain.
As embassadors of the gospel, image bearers of God, are we suppose to have enemies? No. Are we going to? Absolutely. Every godly person in the Bible had someone hunting them down or at least loathing them. Jesus, David, Steven, Paul, Joseph, John the Baptist, countless others!
Here’s how I’m reflecting on this text:
1. Identifying who my enemies are. Who hates me? Is it for good, godly reasons or something I need to repent for?
2. Is there anyone I’m an enemy to? Is there someone who I despise? A person from the past, or maybe a vague enemy I’ve never even met? Time to check my heart.
3. How can I live out this verse? What does it tangibly look like to meet my enemy’s needs and smother them in genuine love until they’re panged with regret?
The Christian life leaves no room for pride, revenge or self-preservation. We are advocated, defended and protected by Jesus, the Prince of Peace, God-with-us. You won’t always be liked. But with him, you will always be loved.