Tuesday, March 10, 2009

2 Samuel 10: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Have you heard this phrase before? No good deed goes unpunished. It’s an odd phrase if you think about it, but it’s oddly true. That’s what we find when we read 2 Samuel 10. Upon hearing of the death of the king of the Ammonites, King David sends a delegation to express sympathy to Hanun the king’s son concerning the loss of his father. David was showing kindness and what came back was anything but kind.

Hanun was wrongly advised by his men that David wasn’t really honoring his father after all. Instead they incited him with words of fear and impending danger, saying David hasn’t sent his men to honor your father. Instead, he’s sent them to check out the city and spy it out so he can overthrow it. The young son made a big mistake. His actions led to a devastating defeat of his army.

Have you ever misread something? Maybe it was a question on a test, or words said to you in passing. But have you ever made a judgment based on someone’s intentions and later realized, ‘Wow, I really missed that. I had no idea that’s what he/she really meant.” We can all relate to this at one time or another. In fact, I’m sure there’s times when we’ve been misread too. Which is more difficult to handle? When we’ve misread someone else or when someone else has misread us? Tough questions, don’t you think. What we believe, the people we surround ourselves with and listen to is so important. It’s so easy to be convinced of something without really stepping back from a situation and taking it all in before we respond too quickly.

Think about it – are we people who think the best of others or the worst? Do we tend to believe what others tell us about someone else without giving them the benefit of the doubt, without thinking through the situation ourselves? When we’re involved with others, which let’s just be honest is all the time, we should take the words of James 1:19-20 to heart – Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

While it’s true, everyone has people in their lives that are not necessarily looking out for our best interests, it’s our responsibility to choose the righteous life that God desires. Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves at all times!

Posted by Joe Stecz

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