Do Good to Others

Today’s reading is Romans 12: 9-21

rootedchristSo much practical advice in today’s reading.  Love one another.  Don’t take vengeance.  Feed your enemies. Care for them.  But the verse here that I love is when it says to do good to your enemies as to heap burning coals upon their heads. When I was college, I took a mission trip to Lithuania and was a preacher for our team. I preached a sermon using this passage, and I’ll never forget it was translated “do good to your enemies as to burn their brains.”  I’ve always loved that.

To understand this passage, think about what hot coals are used for, especially in the Old Testament. They are tools that are used to purify. The priest would use hot coals to purify.  In Isaiah, the LORD took a hot coal to purify Isaiah’s tongue. The hot coal purifies and makes clean.

So, when we do good to our enemies, we are helping to purify them, not to harm them. What does that mean? When we do good to our enemies, that is different than the world.  When we live in that way, folks want to know why?  Why do we do that?  Why do we live in such a way, a way that is so different than our world?  The reason?  Jesus.  We point to Jesus. And that makes a difference.  A huge difference.

Do good to others.  That goodness is a means of grace to them.  It changes them. And us. And the world.

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