You know the ones..they’ve hurt you so bad that the very mention of their name makes the hair on your arm stand on end.
Dishonest business partner..
Someone that has hurt your child..
Or maybe even you have bitterness toward a global figure who has killed innocent men, women, and children, like:
Kim Il Sumg..
Is there room in our hearts to forgive?
(I am not suggesting that we forgo justice. There should be consequences. But can we forgive them in our hearts?)
If we can forgive our enemy, like the Bible suggests, it must be one of the most difficult things in the world to do.
Let’s look at how David responds to finding out that his arch-nemesis is dead in 2 Samuel 1. And be reminded that David’s enemy, Saul, took away David’s family, home, career, security and basically had him on the run for years. On top of all of that the obsession with killing David was unfounded and built around Saul’s own insecurities, jealousy, spite and ungodliness. And Saul remained unrepentant to the very end.
11 David and his men tore their clothes in sorrow when they heard the news.12 They mourned and wept and fasted all day for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the LORD’s army and the nation of Israel, because they had died by the sword that day.
Yes, you read that right. David MOURNED. He should be celebrating. He will finally be crowned king 20 years after he was told he would become king. But instead he mourns, weeps, and fasts (and so do his men). David reacts just the opposite of how I would react if I found out that the man trying to kill me had fallen on his sword.
And this just goes to prove that our unforgiveness and bitterness is something that we CHOOSE to hold on to.
At a time when all eyes would be on David as he prepares to take his rightful throne, there is nothing regal about him. He is humble. Genuinely sad. And filled with forgiveness for Saul. How does he do it?