II. Kindness is a Commitment
On the contrary: if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:20f.
A. The commitment to treat others kindly
1. The impact of kindness
a.) When you treat others with kindness it makes a great impact; especially when they don’t deserve it.
b.) Kindness will give you credibility. Kindness will give you influence. Kindness will give you accessibility. Kindness will give you durability.
2. The power of kindness
a.) Kindness actually works better than revenge
1.) Revenge will only lead to hurting not only the person that you are “getting even with” but it also hurts you as well.
2.) Paul says that treating someone who has done you wrong with kindness is like pouring burning coals on their head.
b.) The reasons for Paul’s statement
1.) Kindness will bring shame on those who mistreat you. Showing kindness to those who mistreat you will make them look like the fools that they really are.
2.) Kindness will store up the judgment of God against them. God will hold them accountable for their actions and you don’t need to get involved.
B. The overcoming of evil
1. Vengeance is a lose-lose situation
a.) Vengeance lets evil win. There is no possible way to act in a spirit of revenge and do any good.
b.) Vengeance on your part is literally taking the rightful place of God. It is not your right to “get even” with people. It is not your place to take your “wrath” out on other people.
2. How to overcome evil:
a.) Paul says that we can overcome or defeat evil by doing good.
1.) Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. 1 Thessalonians NIV
2.) This means that we can defeat those who mistreat us by treating them in the same manner that Christ has treated us.
3.) This applies to everyone: the neighbor that causes you problems, the people at work that are just “hard to love”, the people that cause you nothing but endless grief and those who deserve your retaliation need your kindness the most.
b.) When we “strike back” at others we hurt our ability to share God’s grace with them and we hurt the heart of God.c.) Before you go to “strike back” at a person ask yourself this question: “Is this how I would want Jesus to treat me?”
I first preached this lesson in April 2004. I "borrowed" some of this study from a fellow preacher.
I am forever grateful for what I learned from him.