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  • Writer's picture~Kimberly Oden

Provoked to Kindness

Today is our 25 year wedding anniversary! Our early years were rough ones. We’ve been together for 32 years, had our first 2 sons out of wedlock & THEN were married. Our story is marked by salvation & restoration!💕

When we started to attend church as a married couple, our pastor gave us The One Year Bible. I remember when I read the passages for October was our anniversary & I was excited to see what God had to say for our day, only to be socked in the gut with Proverbs 25:21-22.

I can’t recall the details, but Markel had said something that was hurtful. I wanted to sit, soak & sour in my anger, but was quickly corrected with this:

“If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat...You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads...”

I knew he wasn’t my “enemy” but it sure felt like the enemy was working through him & the last thing I wanted to do was to be kind when he’d provoked me to anger.

My heart wasn’t in the right place & I was like, “Ok, I’ll be kind if that makes him feel bad.”😬

The Lord corrected my heart so quick!

“Kimberly, the coals of fire aren’t punishment.They’re a picture of a heart melted by love. I’ve loved you with an undeserved love that you can’t earn. My Son died for your long list of sins. How about you consider spreading that love by provoking him WITH kindness TO kindness?

Now, I was the one with coals of shame on my head 😂 I think I ended up making him a cherry pie (his fav), & immediately he gave me the sheepish grin of apology.

I can’t say it’s always been that easy, but what I do know is that this principle is true for all relationships - even with strangers! What might our world look like if we provoked people with kindness to kindness, even when we feel like they don’t “deserve” it?

We ALL deserve the heaping coals of hell. We are all sinners who can be saved by the grace & goodness of God through the salvation of His Son! Our freedom is paid in full & was given so we might do the same!

Father, help us to look for opportunities to provoke people with kindness to kindness! Let Your Light shine so bright within that our dark flesh reactions would  be trumped by the fruit & Presence of the Holy Spirit.

💡JEREMIAH 31:27-32:44

💡1 TIMOTHY 3:1-16

💡PSALM 88:1-18

💡PROVERBS 25:20-22


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