We all have those people in life that just drive us crazy. For one reason or another, we just really don’t want to be around them. Maybe it’s because they’re rude, or self-centered, or gossips, etc.; I don’t know. But the question is, how do we deal with people like that? More importantly, how does God want us to deal with people like that?
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. (Proverbs 25:21-22, NIV)
This can be a little confusing. I mean, this person is your enemy, right? In war, would you feed someone from the other side? Would you treat them like an honored guest? I doubt it! And yet, that is exactly what these verses are saying. So now the question is, why are we supposed to do this? Why should we treat our enemy with kindness?
First of all, what do you think is going through your enemy’s mind when you’re kind to them? You may think they’ll laugh at you, but in reality, the kindness you show them will confuse them. After all, if you were hurting someone else, would you expect them to be nice to you? No! So when you’re kind to them, it will make them wonder why. And who knows? They might even ask you why you’re kind to them, and if they do, you can share God’s love with them.
And don’t forget the second part of verse 22! If we’re kind to our enemies, God will reward us. Not here in this life, most likely, but in heaven. And while you may receive a moment of satisfaction by returning your enemy’s hurtful words with harsh words of your own, it won’t improve your situation, and it definitely isn’t what God is looking for you to do.
As teens, we probably don’t have any serious enemies. But there will be, and probably are, people in your life who hurt you through their words or actions. Show them kindness, and let the light that God has placed within you shine for the world to see.
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