In this world, we might come across individuals who are hostile or might want to even hurt us, making it challenging to be kind towards them.
But as Christians, we are instructed to show mercy to such people.
Let’s talk more about this in today’s lesson.
» Monday, 27th March 2023 | I Stand In The Gap Daily Devotional | Showing Grace to Your Enemies.
Yesterday’s daily devotional theme was “Divine Favor: Walking in Obedience” and today’s is about “Showing Grace to Your Enemies“.
Anchor Bible verse of the day
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,Proverbs 24:17 (NKJV)
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
Our anchor verse of the day is literally asking the question why should you be happy when someone falls, more so if the person is your enemy?
Themes in Proverbs 24:17
- Avoiding Schadenfreude: Schadenfreude is the enjoyment of another person’s suffering. This verse forbids it and reminds us not to rejoice or be glad when our enemies stumble or collapse.
- Compassion and Empathy: The verse encourages kindness and empathy toward everyone, even those who we might otherwise regard as our foes. We shouldn’t revel in their pain or fallibility.
- Forgiveness: The passage also serves as a reminder of the value of forgiving others. Even when it is challenging, we should try to forgive and show grace to our enemies rather than celebrating their misfortune.
- Humility: The verse emphasizes the value of modesty as well. It is simple to rejoice in an enemy’s defeat, but we must never forget that we are also susceptible to tripping and falling. So, we shouldn’t pass judgment or pass condemn quickly.
Background to Proverbs 24:17
The book of Proverbs, as we already known contains valuable compilation of wisdom writings and teachings attributed to King Solomon.
It offers helpful guidance on how to lead a good and holy life. Out text for today specifically emphasizes the significance of not taking pleasure in the suffering of others, especially enemies. It highlights the necessity of having empathy and compassion for everyone, including those who may have wronged us in the past.
Based on Proverbs 24:17, who is an enemy?
An enemy in the verse could be someone who is opposed to us, is against us, or perhaps just wants to do us damage,either physically or spiritually.
Yet, it’s crucial to remember that the Bible also exhorts us to love our adversaries and pray for those who oppose us (Matthew 5:44).
As a result, we should not view our opponents, or more precisely our enemies, as being deserving of hatred or retaliation but rather as persons who, like us, are in need of God’s love and grace.
Similar verses to Proverbs 24:17
Whoever mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.Proverbs 17:5 (NKJV)
This verse also emphasizes the need of not taking pleasure in the suffering of others.
It emphasizes that making fun of the impoverished is an insult to the God who created them and that taking pleasure in the suffering of others will result in punishment.
But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother in the day of his captivity; Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; Nor should you have spoken proudly in the day of distress.Obadiah 1:12 (NKJV)
This verse also cautions against taking pleasure in other people’s misery.
It notably targets the Edomites, who took joy in seeing Jerusalem destroyed and the Hebrews taken into captivity. It serves as a reminder to them that they should not have taken pleasure in their brother’s suffering or spoken arrogantly about it.
Based on Proverbs 24:17, how are the believers to live their lives?
According to Proverbs 24:17, the believer is to show compassion and empathy to everyone, including those who may have harmed them.
Seeing that such attitudes are contrary to the lessons of love and kindness that God has taught, the believer ought to refrain from celebrating the misfortunes or failures of others.
Therefore, in order to emulate God’s love and mercy for them (our enemies), believers should strive to extend grace and forgiveness to everyone.
My reflection on “Showing Grace to Your Enemies”
Listen, although it is not simple to treat those who are against us with grace, God has commanded us to do so. It is simple to be kind and loving to people who care about us, but more challenging to do so for those who despise us, and a our sworn enemies.
Yet, as Christians, we are under God’s covenant law, to show mercy to those who persecute us and to love those who hate us.
By extending grace to our adversaries, we not only follow God’s word but also offer an excellent example for others to imitate. Through our kindness and grace, we can even convert our adversaries to Christ.
Let’s make an effort to be kind and loving to everyone, including those who are cruel to us.
We pray to you today for the fortitude and grace to be kind and compassionate toward our adversaries.
Father, we pray for those who may have injured us and to forgive those who have done us wrong. As we manage challenging relationships and work to uphold you in everything we do, we humbly beg for your direction and wisdom.
Give us humble, kind hearts, and enable us to be a beacon of your love in this dark world.
We ask these in the name of Jesus, your precious son.