If Your Enemy is Hungry, Give Him Food to Eat

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

John 13:34/NIV

Jesus Christ taught us that we should “love one another” (John 15:12 & 17). As we read through the New Testament, we repeatedly learn about the acts of kindness that Jesus demonstrated towards others. As we read about the life of Jesus, we see that He is a great role model for us, and His followers should seek to think, speak and be like Him. As we seek to be like the Master, we seek to live a life that would demonstrate love and kindness to others, especially those with an ill-willed nature.

Many times in life, we head out the front door each morning with the best of intentions in our hearts, but people around us are not of the same accord. We may seek to be like Jesus with what we say, how we respond, and how we act, and though we demonstrate kindness to others, we may see the other person’s “dark side.” In such cases, it would be easy for us to become emotionally wounded and not seek to move forward in a “Christ-like” manner, continuing to demonstrate the love and kindness towards others that we should. Let’s turn to the Bible to receive guidance on how to act towards others who harbor animosity towards us!

The Bible is an outstanding instruction manual that teaches us that we should: “bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse, do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone” (Romans 12:14;17/NIV). The Bible also tells us, “if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18/NIV) and “do not take revenge my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19/NIV).

The Bible tells us that we should bless those who treat us poorly and not harm someone who harmed us. We should seek to live in “peace” with everyone and not seek revenge on others who treat us poorly. The Bible does say that we should “leave room for God’s wrath” regarding those who wronged us. As we read in Proverbs, further guidance is provided regarding how we should treat our adversary: “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” (25:21-22/NIV).

So, when your adversary treats you poorly, instead of “repaying evil for evil,” demonstrate love and compassion towards them, and in doing so, they may feel as though “burning coals were heaped upon them,” and you will receive your just reward! So for someone who harbors ill-will against you, give that person a birthday cake for his birthday! Important point: if your adversary is “hungry,” feed them! Food for thought (pun intended)!

Many blessings to you!


Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


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