You seem to love those who hate you and hate those who love you. – 2 Samuel 19:6
Joab had killed the rebellious Absalom for revolting against his father King David and trying to steal the kingdom from him. When news of the loss reached David, he wept and mourned for his dead son like any good father; however, Joab rebuked David because he had just saved his life. The king “seemed” to weep for those that despised them rather than show gratitude to those who came to his rescue.
Joab spoke out of his bitterness and lack of understanding. He may not have had any children of his own; he was also commander of the army. His warrior heart demanded loyalty and a sense of black/white morality. He couldn’t understand why the king would weep over his son, who had plotted to take his life and steal his kingdom?!? Absalom was David’s son no matter what he’d done or threatened to do to him.
We have to be careful what we say to those who are grieving. There may be something to which we cannot relate that causes the grieving person to respond to the situation contrarily to the way we might expect. Other times we may have done something special in a person’s life from which we expect to receive praise or honor or recognition for our efforts to validate our work. We must learn to not grow bitter or angry when people don’t see our efforts or appreciate us in the way we think they should.
The lesson we need to learn and remember are the words of Jesus and those of Paul. Jesus reminds us that he came to serve not be served. Meanwhile, Paul said that we need to learn to do ALL things as though unto Jesus. When we learn in our thick heads that God is our ultimate boss and rewarded for ALL that we do, both good and bad, then we will live life in peace and be grateful for the things he’s done for us and not worry about what others do or don’t do regarding our service to them. It is God who gives grace to the humble and resists the proud. Why let petty emotions ruin the good work you’ve done?
Father, please help me not to become bitter or angry with people when they don’t respond to me the way I think they should. There may be mitigating circumstances in their lives that cause them to react to the contrary or usual response. I ask you to forgive me for the bitterness that I had let take root in my life toward various people, who in fact had done nothing wrong to me but to whom I had wronged. As a person who has excelled in life in various areas, I had grown accustomed to men’s praise and glory for doing good things. Please teach me humility in the truest since of the word. I need your softening touch. In Jesus’ name, Amen.