On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” –Romans 12:20
This verse, taken from the Proverbs 25:21-22, bridges together Romans 12:19 and 12:21 with what is a common theme in this section: how does the godly person act in an evil world?
The answer to that question is consistent throughout Scripture—love one another, no matter who that “one another” is and what he or she has done. The more unconditional a believer’s love becomes, the more supernaturally reflective and reliant it will be.
So we do not besiege our starving enemy nor eat our delicacies in front of him, but rather we serve him food. When he is thirsty we offer him drink. We are to, as the common idiom goes, “Kill him with kindness,” only the biblical view of that action is more akin with “Make him alive with kindness.”
And that is the crux of the last sentence in the verse. The heaping of coals does not mean that we torture the person or delight in God’s wrath upon him, far from it actually. In love and through loving action, we will allow a pain to set upon him—the pain of conviction.
Surely, you’ve seen this in your own life at some point in time. We would term it “winning someone over,” when you refuse the temptation of repaying evil with evil and instead, day in and day out, treat someone with love despite the disdain they hurl your way. And then, at some point, the disdain ceases and is replaced by kindness or distance. This would be evident of the “coals being heaped,” as a repentance of sorts has occurred.
This is the model for our lives in Christ. We show our enemies love, time and time again, and we trust God to give us the power to do so and the wield the power to change the hearts of the wicked (including our own!).