An Unexpected Reward
Posted: Wednesday, October 18
1 Timothy 3:1-16
Verse of the day:
If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink. You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the Lord will reward you.
(Proverbs 25:21-22 NLT)
If we reflect on the grace of God extended to sinners through the birth of His Son Jesus, then that same grace becomes obvious in this Proverb’s counsel. Jesus was all about doing good to those who would destroy Him—who would persecute Him. Some of the words of His dying declaration were, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”
As His disciples we are to reflect that same love toward those who would “despitefully use us.” A cup of cold water offered in Jesus’ name to an enemy may make a lasting affect and could be a turning point. Even if it doesn’t produce a positive response initially, it is what Jesus would do and bares repeating—at least you have planted the seed.
Even the unbeliever has an inherent desire to know God—it’s in their DNA—as it’s in ours. So in your moment of caring for them, even when they respond by rejecting you, your kindness is like “heaping burning coals of shame on their heads.” That’s because deep inside they know what is right, and your act of kindness—your refusal to not exchange barb for barb—could be a defining moment for them.
These two verses of this proverb provides us with a wonderful contrast to the fallen nature of man and the grace of God—grace that Christians are to extend to others—even their enemies. This caring act shows us not only a portrait of kindness, but also an act of grace that could soften a sinner’s seared conscience—persuade his heart, and bring him to repentance. And here is the bonus—an act of sacrifice and willingness to extend an offer of peace comes with a promise—“the Lord will reward you.”