David was Saul’s enemy, but Saul was not David’s.
Saul’s hate couldn’t make David hate.
In a world of Sauls, be a David.
I ran across this “meme” on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. It illustrates a concept that God would have everyone to emulate. King Saul was the aggressor in his relationship with David. Saul felt a great deal of animosity toward David, yet David never reciprocated the same attitude toward Saul. He never sought to harm Saul. He never disrespected Saul. In fact, in his every interaction with Saul David did nothing but good for Saul (1 Samuel 19:4). David refused to act toward Saul in an ungodly manner. He refused to “stretch out [his] hand against [his] lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed” (1 Samuel 24:10). Even when given a second opportunity to take Saul’s life, David still refused to do so (1 Samuel 26:5-12).
The apostle urges us, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18). Furthermore, we are told that “… the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age…” (Titus 2:11, 12). David certainly had an opportunity to commit an ungodly act. At least twice he could have easily taken the life of the one who was trying to take his life – but he refused. Why? Because he was “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). David certainly was not a perfect man. He had his share of shortcomings, but his overall desire was to be as godly as he possibly could. He was striving to follow the instructions that God’s apostle Paul would later put into writing for us.
So how can we not be an enemy to those who insist on considering us their enemy?
God, in the process of creating us, has placed within each of us something that we call “emotions.” We “feel” those emotions: anger, elation, fear, sorrow, joy, love, and so much more. However, it is one thing to feel those emotions – it is quite another thing to be controlled by them. We sometimes say things like, “So-and-so made me so mad I could spit nails!” While we may become angry with someone or with a given situation we are also commanded to control that anger so that it does not cause us to sin (Ephesians 4:26, 27). It is one thing to become angry. Some situations seem to demand that we experience anger. After all, even Jesus became angry on at least one occasion (John 2:13-22). But we must not allow that anger to cause us to sin. And if we do sin repentance should be the next thing we do.
On the other end of the spectrum are feelings of elation, joy, and happiness. While these feelings do stir excitement within us, we should not allow those feelings to lead us into revelry and debauchery. Those are among the things Paul listed as “works of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19-21).
Turning our attention back to Paul’s statement in Titus 2:11, 12, we notice that we should live soberly, righteously, and godly. To live soberly is to conduct ourselves on an even keel, to make decisions and conduct ourselves in a thoughtful, well mannered way. To live righteously is to live in the “right way,” to do the “right things.” To live in a godly manner is to conduct ourselves as God would have us to live, to do the things that God would have us to do. David, the Good Samaritan, and many others are all Biblical examples of how we should live and how we should conduct ourselves.
Don’t have an enemy. Don’t be an enemy.