SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Now that his leadership is established, David seeks to honor the family of Saul. This is noteworthy because Saul had previously turned against David. By the cultural standards of the time, David was under no obligation to honor Saul's family or legacy; in fact, it was more customary for a political leader in David's position to inflict hardship upon the families of his enemies.
- Since Saul is no longer alive, David sends for his closest living family member. That family member turns out to be a guy named Mephibosheth, who is Saul's grandson.
- David invites Mephibosheth to eat with him at the royal table -- not just once, but for as long as he is alive. David treats Mephibosheth like one of his own sons.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- If somebody has wronged us, the natural temptation is to look for ways to keep them out of our lives or make their lives more difficult. In the end, though, this only makes things worse for us because we remain trapped by the anger or bitterness we've developed toward that person.
- David had every reason to despise Saul's family, but he instead showed radical grace. Likewise, God wants us to show radical grace to those who have wronged us. This doesn't mean we forget about what they did or ignore the need to process our emotions in a healthy way, but it does mean we forgive them and look for ways to show God-like generosity. This helps us grow closer to God and break free from the negative emotions we've built up toward the person(s) who wronged us.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Is there someone in your life you need to show radical grace to? Maybe a coworker recently upset you, and you've been looking for ways to get back at them or make their work life less enjoyable. Maybe years ago you were hurt by someone close to you, and ever since then you've been holding a grudge because it's too hard to let go of the pain they caused you.
- Whoever you need to forgive, ask God to help you do just that. Rely on his strength to overcome the urge to hold on to your bad feelings toward them. Look for ways to show them grace. Put their interests above your own. And watch as you begin to experience greater freedom from your past and more fulfilling life in God.