Turn yourself outward

1 Samuel 23:

“Stay with me; don’t be afraid; the man who is seeking your life is seeking mine, also.  You will be safe with me.” NIV

Finally, we have come to the story of David as I work my way through the “fear nots” in my King James concordance.  David is my absolute favorite character in the Bible.  When I list the things that I am thankful for, the life and the writings of David are definitely on that list.

David was a man after God’s own heart.  He was ordained by God to be the king of Israel, and yet, he endured trials and was persecuted and feared for his life.  In this story, David is hiding out because he is being pursued by his father-in-law, Saul, who has turned against him.  Earlier in the chapter, Saul orders that an entire village of priests and their families be massacred because they prayed with David and helped him on his way and did not alert Saul to his whereabouts.

One of the sons of one of the priests, Abiathar, escaped and fled to join David.  David takes full responsibility for what happened to the boy’s family, and then tells him, “you will be safe with me.”

I love that.  David is scared to death, and yet, he takes the time to comfort and reassure one who is in need.

How often do we do that?  Are we not more likely to say, “Look, I know you have problems, but look how much bigger mine are!”

Now, in this case, Abiathar’s problems were truly huge.  Everyone in his village has just been brutally murdered, so, it might have been easier for David to reach out to him, but, I prefer to think of this an example of how we are to treat others who come to us for help or solace.  We must get outside ourselves and our own issues, and focus on the other person.

When I was a kid, I was prone to introspection … come to think of it, I still am.  When I would get down about an issue or problem and would begin worrying about it, my mother used to say, “Turn yourself outward!  There are people in  your world with real problems.  Go think about how  you can help them.”  And she would always end with this phrase, “things that turn inward on themselves collapse.”  And she was right.

To stand effectively, a building must have a firm foundation, and it must be engineered appropriately to support its weight.  Canted too much to the center, the building will not stand.

In the same way, we as Christians, must build our lives on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ and align our trust completely with Him.  We can then reach out to others to help.

I will think about that today.

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Filed under Fear, I Samuel, Old Testament

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