Lovewell: A Theology - Day 27

Day 27
Romans 12:20
20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.

This last text of the week actually goes further than the previous texts. Rather than just taking care of the less fortunate than us, it is actually telling us that we need to take care of our enemies. If they are in need, we should help them. And in this way, we actually confuse and befuddle them.

It is almost comical where this goes. But remember, it is coming right after a place where Paul quotes Deuteronomy 32:25 where we remember that vengeance is God’s and it is not to be ours. So if vengeance is up to God, then our job, it seems, is to be the kind of people that actually confuse their enemies with a deep sense of kindness.

I used to do this when I was playing basketball. If someone would foul me when I was shooting, I would go to shake their hand. It was confusing to them. Not everyone would shake my hand. But many would, and then sort of wander off, wondering what just happened. Or when they would foul me I would shout, “good job!” and they would say “thanks” and then walk away confused.

Why would we want to pour burning coals of shame on their heads?

Have you ever heard the phrase “kill ‘em with kindness?” This is sort of the same idea. As well, it incorporates the fact that we are to take care of those around us if we can, even if they are our enemies.

  1. Have you ever been kind to an enemy? 
  2. What did that look like? 
  3. How can you give your revenge to God and then actually do something powerful for those who you could consider an enemy? 

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