If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you. Proverbs 25:21-22
It is commonly thought that when an enemy does something wrong, the first thing that should be done is to strike back and make the enemy pay for the wrong that was done. The striking back is seen as a punishment. It can be just words, or a physical strike, or some other correction. Today many will take someone to court and get them put in jail or made to pay a fine or some law suit. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth is the mentality of many people.
The idea of the “punishment” is to make the person hurt a little for what he did. Causing pain in some way, is supposed to detour the person from ever doing it again. In this process of punishing the wrong-doers, prisons have been filled to overflowing with those who have done wrong, wars have been waged between nations or groups of people, and millions of innocent people have been hurt.
God has a different plan on how to deal with the enemy. Since you are not God, you do not have the full right to punish the enemy. You are to be like Jesus. He fed the enemy and gave the enemy water to drink. Do you think that every person who ate in the group of 5,000, fully loved and followed Him for who He was? Most likely not.
Solomon says treating an enemy with food and water will heap burning coals on his head. When shown the true love and mercy of God, the person doing wrong will feel the pressure to change. He will realize the wrong that he has been doing.
As a believer, you are to be set apart from the world. You are to be different from the world. The world wants revenge, you must show love and mercy.
When someone has done something wrong to you, the best thing you can do is meet their needs the best way you can. Since their needs were not being met, maybe that is why they treated you wrong.
When you do these kind things, God will see and reward you. His reward will be greater than any person on this earth could give you.
How are you treating your enemies today?
I pray today that you will be filled with God’s love for all; that God will strengthen you to do right to your enemy; and that God will reward you for your love and mercy on others.