May 22 “Friendships: kisses & winks”

Friendships can be confusing. Sometimes those who appear to be our friends turn out to be our enemies, at least spiritually, and our worst critics can be truer friends.

friendships

Today’s Readings:
2 Samuel 15 & 16
Psalm 66.8-15
Proverbs 16.27-30
John 7.1-27

2 Samuel 15 & 16:

Trusting in the sovereignty of God

We see David’s trust in the sovereignty of God in these two chapters. In 15.26 David instructs the priest, “Then the king said to Zadok, ‘Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, He will bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling place. But if He says thus. “I have no delight in you,” here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.'”

Then in chapter 16 Shimei one of Saul’s descendants follows David and his men cursing and throwing stones at him and Abishai, one of his generals, offers to take off Shimei’s head!

David responds by saying, “So let him curse, because the LORD has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ And David said to Abishai and all his servants, ‘See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the LORD has ordered him. It may be that the LORD will look on my affliction, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing this day.”

Responding to our critics

criticism

This is a great example of how we should respond to criticism in our lives. Whether or not the criticism is justified, God has allowed it for some purpose. If it’s unfair or ill-intended, allow God to deal with it.

Romans 12, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

Proverbs 12.15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” It’s so easy for us to dismiss any counsel or criticism we don’t like, but over and over in Proverbs and other places in the Bible we are encouraged to listen. Even when criticism is unfair on untrue, there is generally a nugget of truth in it. So listen, take it to the Lord, and leave your critic in God’s hands. Continue reading