I was reading the story of David and Saul to Ellie last night and was struck by Sauls response to David after he spared his life:
“You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil. Yes, you have been amazingly kind to me today, for when the Lord put me in a place where you could have killed me, you didn’t do it. Who else would let his enemy get away when he had him in his power? May the Lord reward you well for the kindness you have shown me today. And now I realize that you are surely going to be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will flourish under your rule. Now swear to me by the Lord that when that happens you will not kill my family and destroy my line of descendants!” (1 Samuel 24:17-21 NLT)
“So what do we do when someone is mean to us and treats us badly?” I asked Ellie. “We treat them with kindness and we love them and maybe even bring them a gift”, I told her.
This reminded me of watching Anne of Green Gables awhile ago with my wife. I was so impressed with Annes zest for life and just how truly full of life she was. One scene that stuck with me was the transformation of one of Annes enemies. She was a jealous and bitter woman that worked with Anne at her first teaching job and made her life so difficult. At every opportunity Anne just responded with kindness and love and finally won her over earning her trust. She in turn became one of Annes dearest friends and “came to life” herself. It was beautiful.
I shared all this at my concert today and asked the group, “Wouldn’t it be awesome to see this played out in real life? In our own lives? Are there people in our lives who are mistreating us that we can respond with kindness, show love, or even give a gift?
How about you? Is there someone like that in your life? I know there is in mine.
I can’t wait to see what God will do and what former enemies will become dearest friends as we do as Jesus taught us:
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5 NLT)
Let me know what happens when you respond like David did, repaying evil for good. Come back and leave a comment!