Read time: 4 minutes
“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 NIV)
If you want God to reward you, feed your enemies.
When someone hurts me, the last thing I want to do is feed them. In fact, I prefer never to have to see my enemies again. However, that isn’t what God wants. When faced with evil, He wants us to give back good, replacing meanness with kindness, hate with love. In no way can any of us accomplish this task without His divine intervention. When we partner with God to deal with hurt feelings, we receive His reward.
Have you noticed, the ones who hurt you the most are the ones you love the most? The reason is simple if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t get hurt. People take each other for granted the longer they are in each other’s lives. Our enemies aren’t necessarily people, but complacency and neglect. People assume you’re always available for them without making any effort in the relationship. These “enemies” are the most difficult to love because the pain is deep, the history long.
God provides the food.
We can’t love people who hurt us without God’s provision. When injured, the healing process starts by acknowledging your feelings. Scream to God, give Him the pain, cry out in your torment, release it to Him. Identify the emotions you are feeling, take time to understand them. Ask God to reveal to you the truth of the situation, exposing lies you’ve believed. Then allow God to renew your heart and mind as His Spirit renews within you. Wait for His prompting; He’ll show you how to respond in love instead of hate.
“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?” (Matthew 5:46 NIV)
God’s rewards aren’t monetary:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)
As we work to love our enemies, God’s fruit blossoms in our lives, taking our pain and turning it into a beautiful bouquet of love. When God’s Spirit fills our lives, grace and mercy overflow from our hearts. Instead of focusing on the pain we suffer, we recognize others suffering.
People cause harm when they are hurting themselves. Often, the pain inflicted is unintentional, a result of not dealing with their issues. In cases like this one, prayer is the best way to respond. Words and actions won’t help, only God. Loving your enemies doesn’t mean allowing them to walk all over you. Instead, let God show you the best way to love them.
Question of the Day:
What enemy do you need to love today?