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."
Romans 12:20 ESV
In verse twenty Paul tells his readers what to do in place of vengeance. Bless them! Blessing someone is not our first reaction when we are wronged by them. Our natural inclination is to seek vengeance on some level. But Paul says don't do that, take care of their needs instead.
Did you notice how Paul starts the verse, “to the contrary”? Paul says act in a way contrary to what you might want to do. The last thing we want to do for someone that has wronged us to treat them nicely. After all they haven't treated us well why should we do good to them? Because it is the “Christian” thing to do. Jesus treated people well, in spite of how He was treated by them. If that was Jesus reaction to being wronged, it should be ours as well. Doing this will take practice because it doesn't come natural to most of us. Do you remember the old saying; practice makes perfect? As Jesus said, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 ESV So, today let's practice blessing our enemies. Not because we want to heap burning coals on their heads, but because it is the right thing to do.
This passage also reminds me of what I used to say to my kids when I dropped them off at school or at someone's house. “Be good and don't act natural”. They knew that I was saying be on your best behavior and don't misbehave. In light of what Paul has said, I think I will take my own advice. I'll will be good and not act natural. How about you?
© 2012 Leo J. Woodman