The holiday season is such a special time of year, and for most, it’s a very happy season. But there are some that are dealing with hurts and struggles that we can so easily miss in the midst of our own busy lives. I’ve recently learned a powerful lesson on the importance of meeting people in their pain and showing honor and grace to them through it. It starts with a hero of mine in scripture and her name is Abigail.
1 Samuel 25 tells the story of Abigail’s husband, Nabal, attacking the name of David and denying him a large favor. David’s reaction to receiving a harsh word is the exact opposite of what Jesus tells us to do. He decides that Nabal, his family and all of their servants should be killed for how he was spoken of and treated.
At this point Abigail learns what Nabal has said and hurries to offer everything that David asked of him. But what she says when she meets David is a powerful key into how an honoring word can alter a situation. She says:
Forgive my presumption! But God is at work in my master, developing a rule solid and dependable. My master fights God’s battles! As long as you live no evil will stick to you. 1 Samuel 25:28-29
Abigail validated David! She called out that God was doing a good work within him and making him a dependable and solid ruler. After he hears her praises and pleading, he forgives Nabal and goes on to honor her and blesses her.
The lesson is to speak life into people! When was the last time you were in the middle of an argument and you decided to flip the script and start saying good things to the other person? Probably never, and we are all guilty.
One of the best gifts that you can ever give is a simple “you belong” or “I’m with you.”
All that David wanted from the beginning was to know that he was valued, that he belonged and would be accepted. Abigail’s humility and honor was the perfect tool to show him that he was in fact a man with purpose and belonging. I think that we should all strive to have the grace and heart of Abigail in midst of the scariest situations, and from that place flows that hear of God.
As we gather with loved ones this Christmas, let’s share honor and belonging. Let’s be more like Abigail and give even when it doesn’t make sense.