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Devotional for 8-4-2019

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WHAT TO DO TO AN ENEMY

Jesus said, “love your enemies!”

Solomon went a step further when he wrote: “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.” He put his words to work by showing the results of love.

What a predicament for those of us who want to get even and seek revenge. Resentments loom large in most of us even though we want to demonstrate the love and compassion of Christ. It is only natural to want to hurt those who hurt us and get even with those who have done us damage. While it may be natural and normal, it does not reflect the new “nature” of a Christian: “Behold, all things are made new!”

A better translation of “enemy” is “the one who hates you.” This removes it from any vagueness and forces us to look closely at our relationships with others. While not easy to do, it will have positive results because it follows the teachings of Jesus.

Returning love for hate and kindness for coldness is not the normal way we respond to those who would do us harm. But Solomon seems to suggest that when we return “good for evil” we are bringing shame on those who hate or hurt us.

Certainly this is what Paul would recommend that we who are Christians must do when he wrote: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” It is God who is the one to mete out justice. Whatever we do may be too much, too little, or not enough, but never right!

Prayer: We plead for grace, Lord, to show Your grace to those who hate us or would harm us. May we share Your love, as You did, and in doing so witness grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Proverbs 25:21-22 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.

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