I Samuel 15 relates the story of how Saul disobeyed God in the campaign against the Amalekites, and how Saul initially tried to justify his disobedience. Because he feared the people more than God, Samuel told Saul that the kingdom was being taken away from him and given to another (David).
But it is important for us to understand that Samuel was no heartless, unfeeling proclaimer of truth. In :35 it says: “Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death; for Samuel grieved over Saul.” This is very revealing.
Samuel loved and cared for Saul, and grieved over his sin and what it had cost Saul as well as others.
Samuel is a good model for us. It is not difficult to fall into the routine of “doing ministry” without really caring for the people to whom one is ministering. It is way too easy to spout “truth” and cast judgments without really feeling anything for the recipients of the difficult message. Someone has said that no one has a right to preach about hell who can’t do it with a tear in his eye. Samuel challenges us in this regard. He was no hard-hearted prophet. Samuel grieved over the sin of the one who failed during his ministry — and so should we.