It began with this scripture:
1 I therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service,
2 Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another.
Making allowance for people…..not my strong point. I can’t understand why certain people don’t see what is so obvious to me. I often make judgments about those people, usually to their detriment and of course to my favor. Obviously, this is not Godly love.
My allowance making ability is very small because my love is very small and very small minded. However, as I am growing and learning to receive the Lord’s great love, my allowance budget has grown by leaps and bounds.
Recently, that allowance budget was tested. It started with a conflict that was released into our family because one member feels her way is absolutely right. Furthermore, she feels the need to appraise us all of our faults and her righteousness, all with a religious flavor of speaking the truth.
This conflict has shown me where my heart is. My first response was to defend our family loudly and compare how wrong she is and how right we are. Not a great first response but a typical flesh one. This is not the allowance God has made for this conflict for me. I know from scripture that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but that is hard to remember when “flesh and blood” is attacking me.
As I was praying about this situation the Lord brought to me the story of King Saul and David. This is truly a classic story of great conflict allowance.
1 Samuel 18:5-14
5 And David went out wherever Saul sent him, and he prospered and behaved himself wisely; and Saul set him over the men of war. And it was satisfactory both to the people and to Saul’s servants.
6 As they were coming home, when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the Israelite towns, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul with timbrels, songs of joy, and instruments of music.
7 And the women responded as they laughed and frolicked, saying, Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
8 And Saul was very angry, for the saying displeased him; and he said, they have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed only thousands. What more can he have but the kingdom?
9 And Saul [jealously] eyed David from that day forward.
10 The next day an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved [madly] in his house, while David played [the lyre] with his hand, as at other times; and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.
11 And Saul cast the javelin, for he thought, I will pin David to the wall. And David evaded him twice.
12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul.
13 So Saul removed David from him and made him his commander over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.
14 David acted wisely in all his ways and succeeded, and the Lord was with him.
David knew God had called him to be king. He seemed to be on the right track. He was in the king’s presence and had the king’s favor. Then in one day it all changed. Bam! Saul went from finding comfort in David’s company to total disgust for him, so much so that he wanted him dead. This was a major conflict in the path to the throne for David, dead men do not rule well.
Not only did David have to face the fact that the king hated him enough to murder him but also how he personally felt about that. This is what is happening in my life too. How do I honor God with my need to defend myself, my need to strike back? I am wounded, there is great pain, and anger is the loudest voice I hear. Yet I know that I must be Christ like but all I can do is like Christ while being Jenni. Love is nowhere to be found. Great! Another conflict on top of the one I already am facing. Small love makes for a very small allowance. I cannot afford this conflict. Anger depletes my reserves. This conflict bankrupts my soul and unlike David, my behavior is not wise at first, but slowly I heed His leading and He helps me.
David did not pick up the spear that was aimed unjustly at him. He dodged it not just once but twice. I too must not pick up the spear that has been aimed at me, no matter how many times it is thrown at me. God helped David and He is helping me. God gave David all that he needed to deal wisely with King Saul. In like manner, God is giving me all that I need to deal with all the emotions this conflict has raised in my soul. God sets my allowance; my job is to seek what that allowance is.
David allowed God to promote him into the throne. He did not try to bribe, beg or steal it. His desire was not the throne but God. In this conflict, my heart desires to be right and to make her pay. That aim will only get me heartache. My desire must be God’s in order to succeed. I am in this conflict to fulfill the purpose God. Slowly but surely, that is becoming my aim. His allowance is flowing into this conflict moment for me. As it flows, my life becomes worthy of living, my behavior a credit to His divine calling. That is the path I am now on by His grace and through His grace. Thank you Jesus!