Burning coals

RE Verse reading–Luke 6:27-36; Romans 12:17-21 (day seven) “If your enemy is hungry, feed him. . .in doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”–Romans 12:20.  It sounds awful!  To heap burning coals on someone’s head?  Violent!  Painful burning of scalp and hair!  The context insists we find a different meaning.  Paul is not teaching us how to “get even” with people who have hurt us.  Just the opposite.  “DON’T REPAY evil for evil” he says in v 17.  Better to take “burning coals” as a metaphor for conscience or shame.  Your enemy hurts you. You love him.  He dismisses you.  You value him.  Eventually, it clarifies the source of the problem, destroys any justification he may have for his own hatred.  It disallows his claim, “she is part of the problem”.  No.  Your response forces him (at least gives him an opportunity) to look deeply at his own heart.  “Commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God”–2 Corinthians 4:2.

Author: Don Guthrie

Don Guthrie is the Senior Pastor at FBCSA.

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