Text: Romans 12:9-21
“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.” (verse 20)
The above quote is a real head scratcher. First Paul urges us to feed our enemies out of compassion and then to motivate us, he adds that this will really hurt them—like burning coals. Say that again!
Our text this morning about caring for our enemies is easy to understand and sometimes nearly impossible to do. Today we as a nation are incredibly divided and frequently people feel surrounded by enemies. There are many causes for this. Folks who do statistical research for a living are quick to point out that establishing correlations is not the same as finding cause and effects. For example, if we were to have 1,000 Presbyterians from Texas and 1,000 Presbyterians from New York respond to a questionnaire about social and political issues, the results would hardly be different than if we randomly selected 1,000 Texans and 1,000 New Yorkers for the same project. All this to say that we had better focus on healing ourselves before we attempt to heal society at large.
And what about those burning coals? Well, that’s just one of many questions I’ll have for God when the time is right. Join with us this Sunday as we talk honestly about feeding our enemies.