Doing The Opposite

In II Samuel 9:7 King David told Jonathan’s crippled son Mephibosheth: “Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathan …”. “Do not fear” was an appropriate admonition, for Mephibosheth was undoubtedly afraid when David had him summoned to his court. The custom of a new king was to destroy the other potential heirs and family members of the previous administration. But David was NOT going to do that. Instead, he would purposefully show kindness to him: the OPPOSITE of what people would generally expect in such a case. David declared that he was doing this “for the sake of your father Jonathan” but we also know from 7:18 that David realized that God had been undeservedly good to him — so undoubtedly this affected the way he chose to respond to others like Mephibosheth. He would treat them with the same undeserved mercy and grace that he himself had received.

This is a good reminder for us today as God’s people that we should not respond to people the way that everyone anticipates we will —
the way that “everyone else” does. We are not everyone else. We are the recipients of amazing grace, and we are to respond differently. Jesus said, “It is not so among you.” This applies to all kinds of situations. We are not to be found doing “what everyone else does” in our attitudes and actions towards others — even those who might be considered our enemies. How do people expect YOU to respond to someone today: what words, actions, attitudes? If you realize how much undeserved mercy that God has demonstrated to you, why don’t you surprise everyone, and like David, do the opposite?

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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