Responding with Grace
In last week’s blog, we looked at the story of Abigail and the importance of responding quickly when God calls us to action. This week, I’d like to park on this story a little longer and glean more from this story and how she acted with grace toward others.
Abigail demonstrated grace in her response to a dangerous situation (see First Samuel 25 for a refresher on her story). Both her husband and King David acted irresponsibly, and she easily could have placed the blame at their feet. However, instead of placing blame, she treats both with grace.
As David approaches to attack her family in a fit of anger, she protects her family as well as David and his men. Abigail admonishes David, exhibiting concern for their well-being and dissuades them from acting rashly in response to being rejected by her husband. She cautions them that shedding blood would harm their reputation. Acting on emotion would result in long-lasting negative consequences.
She very easily could have responded in anger to David’s hot-headed actions. However, she chose to protect him from himself and thereby protect her family as well. She demonstrated a grace that encompassed a bigger picture than her own small world.
With David’s anger defused, Abigail returned home. She waited to discuss the situation with her husband until he was sober. Her discretion again demonstrated wisdom in knowing the proper time and manner to act.
At the appropriate time, she discussed the entire situation with her husband, Nabal. She hid nothing from him. When he was told of all that happen, he was struck with illness and later died.
I am challenged by Abigail’s response to a very difficult circumstance. She had every reason to be angry and fearful, placing blame at other’s feet. However, she instead walked with grace toward the very people who placed her in the difficult situation. God honored her response and protected her and her household. He also worked these events together for her good. Once her husband died, David married her, and she prospered in her life.
If Abigail can demonstrate that grace in such a serious situation, can I also offer grace in less difficult challenges? Although I often struggle to get this right, lately God has been prompting me with the reminder that I am only seeing part of the situation. There is a lot I don’t know. My first response should be to offer people grace since I don’t know their full story…what they are experiencing, what hurt they may be carrying. By starting from a position of assuming positive intent, it makes offering grace in challenging circumstance a little easier.
I pray that my response to situations and people starts with grace as I rely on the Holy Spirit to direct my response and place others first. Are you challenged by Abigail’s example as well?