Read Proverbs Chapter 25.
“If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.” Proverbs 25:21-22 CSB
Here is how I paraphrase this verse: Kill them with kindness. That is what my mother always taught me. Her words still ramble around in my head when I’m faced with a difficult situation. The burning coals he is talking about in this verse, that is guilt. I can attest from my own life, my mother was the queen of making me feel guilty.
On my 21st birthday, I worked. I didn’t go out and celebrate because a friend of mine had been killed when he celebrated his. After a night of drinking too much, he crashed his car into a tree. I decided I wanted to live past my 21st birthday, so I worked. I chose to celebrate a few days later. Funny the notions we get in our heads. I went out, and I drank too much. I was leaving the bar with someone I should not have been leaving the bar with when I heard my name being called from across the parking lot. It was my mother. She knew what I had been doing; she had waited in the parking lot for me so she could drive me home.
I realize you would not think my mother and I were enemies, and we truly weren’t. But on this particular night, I was the enemy of her heart. I was in direct contrast to her hopes and dreams for me. I was being young and stupid as we all have been at one point. It broke her heart what I was doing to myself. She heaped on the burning coals to my head with her love. She killed me with kindness.
That night, the love she showed me changed my life. I don’t remember her yelling at me. I don’t remember her berating me. I remember hearing my name being called across the parking lot. I remember her love for me. I remember her kindness. I’m not going to say that was the last night I ever did something stupid. I will say that it made me stop and think about what I was doing with my life. I will say, to this day, it helps me stay grounded in the reality that my actions do affect other people’s lives. It helped me learn that it really isn’t just about me. I have faltered many times since then, but I have never forgotten the lesson she taught me by showing me love. She showed me love when it was the last thing I deserved.
Kill them with kindness, it is never the wrong thing to do.