Respond or React?
“I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
When we are hurt or betrayed by friends or business associates, our initial impressions are purely emotional ones, and unless we are controlled primarily by God’s Word the first impressions are rarely correct.
In fact, I have discovered that many initial impressions run opposite to God’s direction. Therefore, we must turn to His Word.
The Scriptures present an interesting perspective of strength and compassion when dealing with those who cause us harm or hurt.
Read the account of David’s confrontation with Nabal in 1 Samuel 25:2-39. In spite of David’s noble gesture to protect Nabal’s property, when David needed help Nabal refused even to acknowledge him. This obvious affront infuriated David.
In anger (sometimes our first reaction), David decided to take matters into his own hands and destroy Nabal. God used Nabal’s wife to stop David from taking vengeance, and in the face of godly counsel David cooled off and withdrew.
His withdrawal could have been interpreted as weakness by others; however, the result was that God executed judgment in His own time. Thus, the use of restraint was more effective than the use of strength.
It is always better to respond to situations (with patience, prayer, understanding) than to react (with anger and retaliation).
Daily Scripture Reading:
1 Kings 12
2 Chronicles 10:1-11:17
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