The problem of reacting to enemies in Gods way: it requires being considerate to people we do not liketo those who would not be considerate to us. We could paraphrase Pauls instructions to the Christians in Rome this way. Never allow evil people to force adoption of evil means. Instead of using evil means, put the problem in Gods hands. Let God control the situation by your being kind and considerate to an enemy. Realize evil is not defeated by resorting to evil. Only doing good defeats evil.
These thoughts were written to Christians living in Romes evil environment which did not appreciate Christian values. Evil people did not appreciate Christian morals because such morals were too different to an idolatrous societys morals. Roman society craved power and used people. Christians did not seek power and were kind to people.
The Christian treatment of enemies brings to the forefront an interesting, practical question. Why? Why do Christians give kind consideration to people who would give them no consideration?
Is it because Christian kindness brings a wonderful resolution to all physical confrontations? No! No one was kinder than was Jesus! Yet, his kindness did not prevent his death. In some instances, kindness merely infuriates those who oppress Christians. Remember, this involves a war between good and evil!
Is it because doing good is the thing to do for a Christian? Before a response can be given to that suggestion, an answer is needed. What is meant by the thing to do? If the response is that being kind to the unkind is a hoop a Christian must jump through in order to finish the divine obstacle course, the answer is, NO!
Is doing good to the unkind an appropriate reflection of God our Father? Yes! That is the motive for being kind to the unkind! God is good to usgood enough to show us compassion, mercy, grace, and forgiveness; good enough to let us be children instead of enemies; good enough to give us a indestructible hope.
Remember Romans 5:8? But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Remember Jesus words in Matthew 5:44, 45? But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Represent God well! May your values be formed by Gods character, not society!
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell