By Stephanie Haile
“You butthead!” yells one of my darling little children to a neighbor friend. Seriously? Why do my kids talk like this? It’s not like I call my husband, or anyone else, a butthead, at least not on a regular basis. Why is repaying evil for evil so important to us?
It’s been around since Old Testament times, hurting each other seems like a necessity. Looking around our culture today, people are even creative in their cruelty to others. Using social media really gets the ball rolling on ruining people’s lives. What is it that makes it so hard to turn the other cheek?
There is one thing that I noticed in a recent reading of a famous Bible story that gave me insight to acting on our frustrations toward others. In 1 Samuel 17, sweet little David, a shepherd boy, kills Goliath. He was well loved by King Saul and the nation of Israel. As the people began to sing and dance and honor David, something changed in King Saul. Jealousy began to rise up. Soon Saul hated David.
So, for some reason, Saul began to keep a spear in his hand. He hurled it at David a couple of times, as David faithfully played the harp for king Saul. He also threw it at his son, Jonathan, and almost killed him. Later on, he had it in his hand as he ordered 85 priests and their families to be killed.
What happened to king Saul? He started out as a decent king who was anointed by God and then became a raving lunatic. Just like my son yelling at his friend, Saul held on to something that he would use to hurt others. It controlled him, instead of him controlling it.
A spear can be useful, just like our words, but when we have these things ready to use to hurt others, odds are, we will use them. If someone would have just taken that spear out of Saul’s hand, it may have helped him forget his desire to want to kill.
A while back a friend hurt me with her words, and my “before Jesus self” said, “get her back.” I decided to leave it alone, pray for her, and love her anyway. Recently she told me that I made a real difference in her life and she looked up to me as a Christian. If I had reacted on my feelings, I never would have seen God work in her life.
I feel like every time I have something I am holding on to that causes me to want to hurt another, I hear God say, “Here, give me that!” God’s word says that he will fight our battles for us. There is no reason to carry around a spear.