The Bible is full of stories, if you’ve been around a church you probably heard of David and Goliath, or the story of Jesus and the cruxifixction or Noah and the ark. I think if we’re not careful we can default to only the things we know from the major events of the Bible and forget to look at smaller stories between the major ones. After all, it is the Word of God. He left us on earth with His Word as an instruction manual for the rest of time, if it’s included, it’s important.
I was reading the story of King David’s son, Absalom, in 2 Samuel. It’s a big story with all the different elements, scandal, high drama, betrayal, bitterness and strategy. At the very end of it all in chapter 19, essentially, Absalom the son of King David was killed against his fathers wishes. Even though in the previous chapters Absalom was seeking to overthrow the king and even though he did obscene things you have this picture of his father David the king mourning the death of his son. The Bible says something interesting, in 2 Samuel 19:3 it says, “They crept back into the town that day as though they were ashamed and had deserted in battle.” Absalom tried to take over the kingdom and the Bible says that he even managed to turn the hearts of the people. Blatant rebellion. David’s men go out and end him and now the King is mourning and essentially taking all of his men who just risked their lives for granted. He was so focused on the one that he lost that he forgot about the army that was for him. One of his most trusted men even goes to the king and says in verse 5, “We saved your life today and the lives of our sons and daughters… yet you act like this, making us feel ashamed of ourselves, you seem to love those who hate you and hate those who love you.”
Here’s my thought, isn’t that exactly what we do sometimes? Work is hard, someone treats us harshly, a situation is completely stressing us out and we make the conscious decision to take it all out on the people that we love the most. The ones who have given their lives for us are the ones that we choose to discount and even take things out on. Let me encourage you and myself on this one by saying, we can’t do that. If you’ve lived for 2 seconds here on earth you know that life is going to be hard. There are people that make it seem like their life goal is to make our lives as difficult as possible, I get that. However, let’s not be like King David in that story. Things will come that are hard, but why throw all the good away for the small things that aren’t going well when we have an army of people around us who love us so much? Why should we bring our work lives or our hard times into the relationships that matter most and allow life’s tough times to influence how we treat others around us? Remember who and what’s more important.
If I have to strip it all down, I’d say there are people who have always been and always will be there for us. They matter, they love you, if it’s your spouse they have decided to literally give their life to you. What would happen if we made our houses and our relationships with those people our sanctuary instead of our battle ground? They aren’t your boss, or your co worker or that person who rubbed you the wrong way, why should we treat them like they are? Love is patient, love is kind.