Without doubt, chaos is on the increase in our culture, sometimes breaking out into open violence. People are questioning, “Which side are you on?” Then groups form (political, economic, social, sexual) that are at enmity, even within mainstream Christian denominations.
What a contradiction to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ in John 12:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
In Romans 12:20 we are given direction about dealing with our enemy, "…if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." An enemy, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, may be a professing believer who is a friend of the world, thus making himself an enemy of God, or someone who is opposed to Christ or to righteousness.
We are not told to take up arms against our enemies, but to feed them. Referring back to Strong’s again, the word “feed” in this verse means to feed by putting little bits into the mouths of infants or small animals. I fear that too often we try to feed steak to those who still need to be fed baby food.
We cannot expect nonbelievers and new, immature Christians to walk in the manner expected of a mature believer. We can, however, feed them a banquet of spiritual food, and should probably begin with the fruit of the Holy Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). We need to “feed” them with small bites, like we would for a little child. They will move into more solid food, but it takes time and patience. I believe people are hungry—that a lot of the anger, hostility and enmity we are seeing is because of spiritual hunger. They are starving, and many times are finding rejection and dissension from the very people who have been charged by God to love them.
Lord, may I be a fruit inspector today, checking to be sure that the fruit of my lips and my life are sweet and nourishing to the world around me. Please help me love – even my enemies – with the pure and holy love of God.