Inspirational Thought of the Day:
What we do and say to one another matters.
Scripture of the Day:
1 Samuel 26:19
But now let my lord the king listen to his servant. If the LORD has stirred you up against me, then let him accept my offering. But if this is simply a human scheme, then may those involved be cursed by the LORD. For they have driven me from my home, so I can no longer live among the LORD’s people, and they have said, ‘Go, worship pagan gods.’
1 Samuel 26:23(a)
“The LORD rewards each man for his integrity and loyalty. Even though today the LORD delivered you into my hand, I was not willing to extend my hand against the LORD’s chosen one.”
This passage is fascinating to read when we consider it is the second time that David boldly faced his accuser when Saul was trying to kill him. Although the boldness is astounding, even more amazing is David’s reliance on God and how he handled conflict.
We might not have someone chasing us down relentlessly in the desert, but we have all probably experienced someone who either falsely accused us or attacked us in some way. David offers us some strategies when we are under siege that are timeless and the pathway to victory.
He faced his enemy.
I don’t know about you, but when it becomes apparent that someone does not like me, I really prefer to avoid an altercation. Go ahead. I know – I am a conflict avoider. Not so much with David, though. He kept his distance enough to ensure the madman Saul could not take him out, but he faced him, nonetheless. I have learned, like David, though that some conflicts you need to face, while others you cannot enter into.
The challenge in approaching someone who seeks our demise is that they might be under demonic influence and not recognize it. People crazed with jealousy or other mental issues might be prone to respond in ways that require us to be in our word and ready spiritually. David was.
He honored the person, despite their sin.
Despite Saul trashing David’s reputation and hunting him down like prey, David honored his enemy. He acknowledged the position God had given Saul and approached Saul with respect. Matthew 7:12 and Matthew 25 help us in this regard, too. What we do and say to one another matters. We will be held accountable for how we stewarded the relationships that God has given to us. When we consider the other person who is at odds with us, we need to shepherd their hearts and approach them with truth and grace. Sounds crazy, I know. Seems impossible. But doing what is right matters more than getting even. Respect can help to ease tension and hopefully help an enemy to lay down some of their anger toward us.
He feared God.
David did not lay a hand on Saul because He knew that it would be wrong. He was careful in all of his conduct toward Saul, ensuring that he handled the situation in a way that pleased God. All too often conflict does not go that way. People want to make sure that they are heard and slam the other person in that effort. Asking God to help us see the other individual as He does gives us a different perspective and puts our motives in check, too.
He trusted God.
Not many people would be willing to face their enemy as David did, but David knew someone had his back. And that One being the God of the universe. David looked to God’s protection and reward, not man’s. Trusting God is not easy in our flesh, when our struggles are so real and pressing. The spiritual realities are greater, though, than what we see and know on this earth. Trusting God implicitly means we look past our circumstances to the One Who allowed them in. He is sovereign and will enable us through whatever comes our way.
He was humble.
David’s affirmation and correction came from God. He acknowledged that he was a mess, but He did not stay there. He looked to God to help him in his weakness and did not allow the accusations of others or even his own heart to defeat him.
Prepare for battle.
Recognizing the source of all attacks helps us to approach the battle appropriately. Our battle is not in the flesh, it is spiritual. What is more important than defending ourselves is redeeming the situation and maybe winning over our brother’s heart. And sometimes, we might even be the offended party upset at someone else . . . that’s for another discussion for another day, but learning to keep watch over the door of our minds to recognize demonic influence and attack helps us to overlook our own frustration. People matter more than our offenses.
Being in the word and praying to God, as well as accountability with a mature believer help us to “arm up” for battle. Having an attitude of humility and grace makes all the difference in the world, as well, when we are entering into difficult situations. Finally, examining our motivations and placing them before God can create in us a heart motivated toward healing, not revenge or self-focused defense when someone is defaming us.
In the end, it might not end well despite our best efforts at trying to reconcile or fix a relationship. We are just accountable to honor God in the process and leave the results with Him. Sometimes we cannot allow someone into our lives because of past damage they have done, but we can choose to forgive them and move on.
Lord, help us to handle conflict in a way that pleases You. May we exemplify godly character and be people who redeem rather than accuse, heal rather than crucify other people with our words.