“Just then David’s men and Joab returned from a raid and brought with them a great deal of plunder. But Abner was no longer with David in Hebron, because David had sent him away, and he had gone in peace”. (2 Samuel 3:22)
Sending someone away in peace when there has been turmoil or trouble is soul satisfying. The alternative of course, is to send them away in anger or dismay. Think about it, how many times have you left some one in distress and walked away due to an argument, incident or simply because they don’t agree with you?
We are more prone to behave in this manner with those that are closest to us. Our spouses, children, friends, coworkers and so on. When we send someone away or dismiss them in a manner that leaves them in any manner other than peace, we leave the door open for Satan to work a mighty work against us.
In 2 Samuel chapter 3, King David is dealing with the fall out of being anointed King and the split between followers of King Saul’s army and his own. By chapter 15 he is dealing with the consequences of leaving his son Absalom, in a state of disillusioned punishment for killing his half-brother Amnon for raping his sister. Sent away from the family and not allowed to be in the presence of his father, Absalom was an easy target for Satan to minister to. Over time, Satan filled his mind with poison against his father and turned the remorse he should have had for his own actions against his half-brother into revenge against his father. This rift between father and son later split the kingdom and cost David the life of his third-born son turned rebel.
You may think that your actions could never have that kind of impact but repetitive behaviors over time can take their toll. Our enemy is vicious, hating everyone and his sole purpose is to destroy. While you may not mean to destroy, your actions can be leveraged by the enemy to go beyond your worst nightmare.
It is hard to think beyond the moment of emotional turmoil when you are in the realm of it, but it is critical to try. Now, luckily we are not left to our own demise, we have a helper sent from the Father to teach us and remind us (John 14:26) that we are peacemakers.
I get lots of practice with my four-year old when he throws tantrums, gets over-tired, or has a repetitive and one-track notion that must be heard. I can send him to his room but I must not leave him to feel abandoned. The difference between an angry cast off to the room and a loving hug that says please find the little angel that was here two minutes ago makes all the difference. Once the emotional trigger has been pulled it is time to bring in the Holy Spirit. Taking the time to think about what your response or behavior can bring about as a consequence makes a huge difference.
Our pastor gave some good advice in church yesterday. He said “let your first response be prayer”. This is something that I am trying to put into action in my life. Am I an expert? Not hardly, but I am getting plenty of practice and I am getting better. The enemy is certainly losing his impact and effect on this front.
Let’s all work on putting prayer as our first response and see how it makes changes in all our lives. (John 16:24)