To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head
Feeding Your Enemy
How can we possibly feed someone who is our enemy? Remember that at one time we also were enemies of God; and while still enemies of His, Christ died for us (Romans 5:10). In this sense, we are to die to ourselves and pray for those who hate us (Matthew 5:44). This, of course, is a supernatural, God-given ability; you won’t be able to do this in your own human strength. To feed someone who is your enemy means that you don’t give them what they deserve because God doesn’t give us what we deserve–that is called grace. Maybe we can feed them the Word of God because the Word of God changed us from being God’s enemy to being called one of His own children (1 John 3:1). Jesus is the Bread of Life, and that’s what they need: to be fed the Word while praying for those who abuse us (Luke 6:28).
A Cup of Cold Water
I was going door to door on a very hot, 100-plus-degree day, having more doors slammed in my face by those who said they were “Christians” when one man, a self-proclaimed atheist, offered me a bottle of cold water. He took me in and let me cool off in his air-conditioned home. This verse came to mind where Jesus said that if anyone gives someone called a disciple of His a cold drink of water, they will surely be rewarded for it (Matthew 10:42). I told this man about that verse, and it made him think. Perhaps by giving our enemies a cold drink of water, we show that God is a good God, as He sends the rain on both those who deserve it and those who don’t (Matthew 5:45). To this day I have never forgotten this man’s kind deed, and I pray he remembers Jesus’ words.
Being Just to the Unjust
Who among us deserves God’s mercy and grace? Not even one of us (Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23). God gives us what we don’t deserve (called grace) and then He withholds what we do deserve (called mercy) (John 3:36b). So when we are praying for our enemies and giving them food and drink, we are acting like God does toward undeserving sinners. This dying to the self may be the only Christ that those who are our enemies may ever see. When they see us not avenging ourselves but instead showing the similar love of God toward those who don’t deserve it, that might be the only Christ they will ever meet in someone, perhaps in their entire lives; and it make all the difference in the world.
A Closing Prayer
Great God in heaven, please help me to love my enemies, to pray for those who hate me by feeding them when they’re hungry and giving them a drink when they are thirsty. I need Your help in this because with my own human means, it is impossible for me to do. I pray in the King of kings and Lord of lords name, Jesus Christ.
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