Exodus 23:5—If you see the donkey of someone who hates you lying helpless under its load, and you want to refrain from helping it, you must help with it.
If I see that my enemy, Joe, is in trouble, my natural reaction is to think, “He is getting what he deserves for his poor behavior and attitude!” and to walk past him without providing assistance. Basically Joe’s misfortune is deserved because of past, poor behavior and I should not interfere with his karma.
If I see that my enemy, Joe, is in trouble, I rationalize that I am too busy to help him. Isn’t it far more important to invest my time in those who care about me then in those who dislike me? Joe would not help me so why should I help him?
If I see that my enemy, Joe, is in trouble, he is not going to ask me for help because he dislikes me and it would require humility on his part to request assistance. Since he is too proud to seek aid, why bother rendering service?
I love how God gives me no wiggle room. He does not validate karma. He rules out any excuses I might generate. He will not let me focus on Joe’s faults. He simply says I must help Joe. And when I ponder His unrealistic demand I am brought to my knees.
God says, “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you will heap burning coals on his head and the LORD will reward you” (Proverbs 25:21,22). Jesus taught, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. . .” (Matthew 5:44).
The way to reach a person with the gospel is not by retaliation, or an unwillingness to help, but by administering love. By helping Joe’s donkey I am forcing Joe to rethink his attitude towards me, and more importantly, his attitude towards God (assuming I am living as an ambassador of Christ). His head is on fire because he cannot make sense of undeserved grace. But wait a second, I don’t deserve grace either, yet that’s exactly what God gives me. By helping the donkey, I have to swallow my pride.
If I see Joe’s wretched nature and refuse to help him at his point of vulnerability because he is my enemy, am I not a conduit of damnation? Without authority I have made myself his judge. This is not reflective of God’s love. I must help the donkey because He who is in me is greater than me in me. My flesh values retribution. The Holy Spirit values obedience evidenced by unnatural service. The buried donkey is truly a test of whose philosophy I espouse—God’s or my own. God knows my sinful nature and rebellion yet provided redemption. Therefore, by my receiving His grace and trusting His authority, I am expected to love my adversaries—even when it hurts.
It’s not our job to play judge and jury, to determine who is worthy of our kindness and who is not. We just need to be kind, unconditionally and without ulterior motive, even - or rather, especially - when we'd prefer not to be.—Josh Radnor
©2016 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
Theosophy. the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person’s deeds in the previous incarnation.http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/karma