Have you ever loved the bad guy? David’s predicament isn’t uncommon. From my own experience, I know it’s sometimes easy to love the one who does you wrong and abandon those who want the best for you. I think it’s human nature. Jesus even gives us examples in the New Testament when he talks about leaving the 99 to save the one sheep. David, unfortunately, was unable to save the one, however. Joab gave him a good reminder: “You seem to love those who hate you and hate those who love you.” Ouch. I spent a lot of years trying to understand why I myself did this with certain individuals. It wasn’t until my 40s that I understood my own motivation behind choosing the bad guys over the good guys: I wanted the bad buys to become good guys! I thought my words and actions could “change” them, but like Absalom, they didn’t want change. They couldn’t see the purpose in treating others with kindness and respect. I lived with the guilt of not being able to instill those qualities in them, just like David lived with the guilt of losing his son due to Absalom’s stubbornness and pride. That was no fault of David’s, yet as his father, he bore the burden. Life on Earth is rough! And also, like David, we often have to accept the fact that it’s not our responsibility to try and change people and give that task to God. We can pray for others, of course, and serve as examples, but ultimately, it is best when we surround ourselves with those who love and respect us – and draw boundaries for those who don’t.
Writing prompt: boundaries
Have you ever been in a “toxic” relationship? I know the word toxic is kind of a buzz word for bad relationships these days, but it is a good description, so I’m sticking with it. Maybe you’re in a toxic relationship right now. I hope not. Write about your experience with someone who just refuses to respect you and honor you as a human being. Pray about how God wants you to relate to this person, and write about how you are feeling and acting/reacting today.