How do you respond to wounded people wounding others, specifically wounding you or trying to either knowingly or unknowingly? This is a real life thing with real life consequences. But this is not a new thing…I am reminded of David and King Saul.
In 1 Samuel 18 we see that David had just killed Goliath and Saul has brought David into his house and acted on the behest of King Saul. The problem was that Saul began to become very insecure as David’s reputation began to dwarf that of King Saul’s. So much so that we see that played out in verses 6-9
6 Now it had happened as they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. 7 So the women sang as they danced, and said: “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” 8 Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” 9 So Saul eyed David from that day forward.
Saul was insecure and hurting emotionally and he acted out of that pain and hurt. If you continue reading the narrative you see that Saul tried to kill (unsuccessfully) David many times and in many ways.
The funny thing is; David didn’t deserve any of this. He simply became a hero because he was trusting God. He was doing the right thing and he received a wrong against him. That happens with us also, we can be doing the right thing and because of pain and hurts/wounds others can lash out and attack you personally.
So often in these moments it is not only directed to you but also about you to others. King Saul did the same thing…out of his pain, he directly and indirectly passed along his offense to others under his command that led to them trying to kill David. I know this is the extreme, physical death, but it happens to people all the time emotionally and relationally. In those moments, others are drawn into the saga of hurt and pain.
What can you do in that moment?
- Honor the person, not their actions. The natural thing is to fight back. David could have fought back. He could have picked up the spear and thrown it back at Saul. instead he honored Saul (even though Saul’s actions didn’t deserve it) and kept his heart right before God, so much so that in 1 Samuel 24 you get a glimpse into this.
- Pray – keep your heart right and pray for the other person. Matthew 5:44 tells us: But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
- Do everything you can to bring healing and restoration into the relationship. Romans 12:18 tells us: If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. You’re not responsible for them, you’re responsible for you.
- Stand. If they are unwilling to be in right relationship…you stand in that place with God knowing that you did all that you could.