If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil. but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21 NIV)
We know all things are possible in Christ to those who believe. Kindness is not an easy task. However, to practice kindness, we reach towards spiritual maturity. None of us begin our walk with maturity. We all start like a new baby in our new birth. Conflict does not end just because we have become a Christian. Satan is evil and loves to pit Christian against Christian. There cannot be anything more to damage the cause of Christ than nonbelievers watching Christians in conflict. The problem with self-righteousness is we have a false sense of maturity. This false sense is the culprit of most conflict at one end of the spectrum. The opposite end of the spectrum is when mature Christians allows pride to grip their heart and mind. Then consequences spiral from denial.
Conflict happens across the realm of people. Enemies: family members, co-workers, church members, PTO members and the list goes on. We know we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, yet when conflict is fueled, love is not felt. When a person is in the heat of conflict and revenge is boiling within, there is only one hope. We have to focus on God’s Word, even when we may not ‘feel” the desire.
My key verse helps me understand the act of kindness. Proverbs 25:22 reiterates when we show kindness to our enemy, it is like a heap of burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward us. My thinking went…if I show genuine kindness to someone who is not very nice to me-it is like a heap of burning coals on their head? This might not sound nice, however, it is a start. With God’s Word we can begin to work towards maturity. We might think in the heat of things, how sweet those coals will be, yet God’s Word begins to soften our hearts. Our focus turns…God, really? You are going to reward me if I step up and take the higher road? This seals the deal for me. It is not worth our time nor effort to stake our claim at being right. There are hurting people at stake who need to see Jesus in us. Show kindness and allow God’s love to work through us. It’s Forward Friday! Let’s move forward with genuine kindness towards our enemies. Yes, if I can do this, you can too!