By Scott Hassett
Today's Scripture: 2 Samuel 19:22
Central Thought: We are empowered to forgive others when we know that we stand forgiven.
C. S. Lewis made the following assessment of our role in forgiveness, 'I think that if God forgives us, we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting ourselves up as a higher tribunal than Him.”
As David was on his way back to Jerusalem after the death of Absalom, he was confronted with a choice. Shemei, the very man who had wrongly and boldly cursed David only a short time before, was now crouching before King David and begging for mercy and forgiveness. David would have been acting completely within his rights as king to have Shimei executed on the spot. Instead, the king chose to extend mercy and grant Shimei's request for pardon.
How often we are faced with this same choice—forgive or seek revenge. You probably do not have to think too long before a face springs to mind: the co-worker who tries to make you look bad in front of your boss, the mother-in-law who constantly criticizes, the ex-spouse who denigrates you to your children.
David chose to forgive. How? The key is found in his statement to Abishai, 'Do I not know that I am king over Israel today?” (verse 22). David himself was being restored to his kingship. He knew who he was and that his position was secure. Thankful and confident, he did not feel threatened by Shimei's actions. David was able to forgive.
When we live in communion with God and allow Him to show us that we are justified and sanctified and forgiven through Christ Jesus for all of our trespasses, we have the security and strength to forgive others of their trespasses against us.
Devotional Prayer: God, help me to know my position in You so that I can forgive others.
Today's Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 19:11-20:13; John 21:1-25; Psalm 120:1-7; Proverbs 16:16-17