Reading the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), once again this morning, reminded me of Paul’s words that I read in Romans 12 just yesterday, ”Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (12:19-21). I like Warren Weirsbe’s comments on Romans 12:19-21. Here’s a small excerpt:
The admonition in Romans 12:20 reminds us of Christ’s words in Matthew 5:44-48. These words are easy to read but difficult to practice. Surely we need to pray and ask God for love as we try to show kindness to our enemies. Will they take advantage of us? Will they hate us more? Only the Lord knows. Our task is not to protect ourselves but to obey the Lord and leave the results with Him. Paul referred to Proverbs 25:21-22 as he urged us to return good for evil in the name of the Lord. The “coals of fire” refer perhaps to the feeling of shame our enemies will experience when we return good for evil.
As children of God, we must live on the highest level—returning good for evil. Anyone can return good for good and evil for evil. The only way to overcome evil is with good. If we return evil for evil, we only add fuel to the fire. And even if our enemy is not converted, we have still experienced the love of God in our own hearts and have grown in grace.
Of course, these words (Romans 12:19-21) are found in the same chapter as Paul’s admonition to NOT be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (12:1-2), which we wrote about in our last post.
Romans 12:1-2, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Worldly thinking, or being conformed to the world, emphasizes STANDING UP FOR OUR RIGHTS and SEEKING REVENGE for wrong doing against us, while biblical thinking does not. Biblical thinking emphasizes SUBMITTING TO GOD’S WORD AND OUR RESPONSIBILITY to love and help ALL men in need as Christ has loved us!
And yes, this would even include our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48).
Just Reflecting on the Good Samaritan!