In studying the apostle Paul for my next book I came across this passage which made me think of something that happened in Philadelphia many years ago. I was part of a group that was hired by a local Catholic school to watch over the kids outside during their lunch hour. I had been working there a couple of weeks and the girl, one of the students, came up to me and asked me if she could talk to me. I of course said sure and she proceeded to tell me how she felt that one of the nuns was unfairly picking on her. To her it seemed like the nun was constantly humiliating her, sending her to the office for disciplinary measures, and giving her very low grades, although she felt that she did not deserve them.
I remembered Romans 12: 19-21, that says; 19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
I asked her if she would like to know a way to get back at the nun and drive her crazy that the nun would not be able to do anything about it. I told her actually it was the biblical way to do it. I told her to treat the nun with total respect in a sincere manner, being polite, saying good morning at the start of the day and have a nice day at the end. I also told her to do the very best work she could and always make sure that her assignments were on time. That would make sure that the nun would not have any reason to pick on her. I felt this is what was meant by the Scripture. If we treat people with respect and Christian love it will “heap coals of fire” on their head. In other words you would accomplish two things. First you will remove any reason they may have for picking on you or treating you poorly and second they usually will feel guilty for the way they have treated you. She came to me a couple of weeks later and thanked me and told me that it really works, that the nun has actually been treating her pretty good recently.
This not only applies in that situation but it applies in everyday life. Whether it be someone at school, a boss, a co-worker, or in any other situation. We must remember that as Christians we represent Christ. My favorite quote is “Your Life May Be The Only Bible Some People Read”.
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