This is my second to last time writing about Proverbs as my Bible study group will be moving on to another book. I'll again choose my favorite proverb from each of the three chapters I read this week.
"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 burring coals on his head,
and the LORD will reward you." Proverbs 25:21-22
The phrase, "kill 'em with kindness" has a lot of wisdom in it because it really works. Have you ever been a jerk intentionally to someone that responded kindly to you? I have and it's annoying. It makes me mad because they refuse to stoop down to my level.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-44, "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbors and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
Romans 12:21 says, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Proverbs tells us to do this, too but realizes that we are human and tells us to do it in part because it will drive our enemy nuts.
Proverbs also says that the LORD will reward us for returning good for evil. Being kind to an enemy will grow us to love more like Jesus. It is so hard to hate those we serve. The reward of the LORD should be our main motivation but if that doesn't come right away then kill them with kindness first.
"Like one who seizes a dog by the ears
is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own." Proverbs 26:17
My dad would paraphrase this verse like this: "Butt Out!" I heard that a lot growing up because I liked to get involved in other people's garbage and that is a good way to get hurt. We're especially bad with this online. We see two people in a comment war and feel the urge to join in and offer our "wisdom". It never ends well. No one ever responds like this, "Wow! I never thought about it like that. Thank you for getting involved and correcting us in our argument." That doesn't happen. You are not Mike Brady and everyone on Facebook is not the Brady Bunch kids.
It boils down to this... not everyone needs your opinion. Butt out, especially when tempers are already flared.
"As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17
This is why we do Bible studies. This is why we are in community as believers. To reach spiritual maturity we need one another. So, for example, enter times of Bible study with others expecting to learn from others.
So, be kind to your enemies. Butt out of other people's business. And be in community with believes even though it is often difficult, because it is worth it. Strive to gain God's wisdom by following His advice today.