Paul says that when we love our enemies, we heap burning coals on their heads.
In other words, helping people get good rewards they haven’t earned ultimately has a negative effect on them, although initially it might look positive.
God’s justice is perfect, which means the way the world is – in all its alleged inequality and inequity – is God’s justice playing out in real time. People’s lives are a reflection of what they’ve earned through their thoughts and actions. If you’ve earned a crappy life, you’re going to get it. Just because you don’t like the crappy life you’ve earned doesn’t mean you haven’t earned it. If you try to escape it on your own initiative through, for instance, immigration or becoming a refugee, your crappy life will follow you. Jesus says the measure you mete is the measure you get in return. We cannot improve on God’s perfect justice; our efforts to “improve” it can only fail.
That doesn’t mean that people won’t try. Instead of dealing with the root of their problems (sin-laden soul out of alignment with God’s will), they frantically look around them to find someone or something else to blame other than themselves. The world loves pointing fingers of blame. People are generally pliable and compliant, so if you tell them, via mass media, that White people and their various traditional cultures are to blame for all the world’s problems, the majority of people will believe that lie and repeat it. That’s where we are now.
As a born-again believer stuck in a body that of necessity has to move through the world, you need to guard against getting caught up in the world’s frenzy of blame. At the same time, don’t fall into the trap of believing that you can improve on God’s justice. Yes, we’re to help those who specifically come to us for help (if God sends them to us for help, he will enable us to help them), but looking for people to help is going to backfire on you and on them.
Conversely, when God sends us someone to help, it’s because he’s working on them. He knows that the help we give them will draw them closer to him not by easing their misery but by worsening it. I know through personal experience that the best way to bring some personality types back into alignment with God is to break them. This approach doesn’t work on everyone, but it sure works wonders on headstrong people like me.
The truth is – the world is in perfect balance at all times. God’s justice never fails and never falters. Jesus didn’t come to change the world, but to show those who were in the world the best way to get Home – through repentance and believing the Gospel. Most people reject Jesus because they’d rather blame others for their problems than blame themselves. The world supports them in blaming others. This should not be surprising, considering that the world is under the authority and direction of Satan, who himself is a master at deflecting and reassigning blame in order to frame himself as a victim. The world models this mindset.
But we are not the world. We know that there are no “innocent victims” other than Jesus. Jesus is the only person in all of history who suffered for sins he hadn’t committed. He chose to suffer, and in so choosing, paid the sin debt and opened the door for us to have a close relationship with God again. This is the greatest of all human achievements. If the rest of us suffer, it’s because we’ve brought it on ourselves one way or another.
We are to be patient in suffering not because we are some great saint clasping our hands in prayer and gazing heavenwards like a cheesy religious painting, but because we should know that our lives are God’s perfect justice in action, which means our suffering is earned. To rail against earned suffering is just stupid. I know, because I’ve done it and learned the hard way about this particular brand of stupidity. Maybe you’re smarter. Hopefully you’re smarter.
Beware of people who try to thrust their help on you. Discern whether or not the help is from God or from the devil. Help that comes from God is swift, timely, and perfect in its execution, whereas help that comes from the devil is cloaked in confusion and leaves you wondering whether or not you should accept it. If you have to mull it over, it’s not from God.
We heap burning coals on our enemies’ heads not to destroy them but to jolt them back into reality. If God specifically guides you to help someone, help them. If he guides someone to help you, accept the help. Otherwise, don’t be guilted into supporting the devil’s lies about inequality, inequity, social justice, etc. God’s justice is perfect. The world is a reflection of God’s perfect justice: It cannot be improved.