Editor’s Note: The AMI Quiet Times for March 19-27 are provided by Cami King of Journey Community Church.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
1 Samuel 24:16-20:
16 As soon as David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17 He said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. 18 And you have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the Lord put me into your hands. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safe? So may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. 20 And now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.
Some friends and I laughed this week about just how hard it is for parents to admit to their children when they are wrong. They will shuck and jive and maneuver in all sorts of odd ways to communicate their remorse without actually saying the oh so humbling words – “I am sorry; I was wrong.”
Most people have a hard time admitting when they are wrong – not just parents. I am definitely one of those people. I grew up thinking (rightly or wrongly) that the world expected me to fail and fall short and I would never give them the satisfaction of acknowledging that I had actually done so. It seems silly now – of course I will err in some way throughout my life; no one is perfect after all. But in those moments of error, especially when others are the victims of our “falling short,” it’s a lot easier said than done to verbally articulate our wrong doing and sincerely apologize. It’s just too humiliating.
After aggressive persecution of David, Saul finally comes to his senses upon realizing that David spared his life when he could’ve killed him while they were in the same cave (10). Thus, the king, seeing that his own jealousy has led to a misjudgment of David, expresses sincere remorse. And although, as we will learn in the chapters to come, this remorse was short lived, in the verses we just read, the king actually apologizes and acknowledges that he was wrong. Bonus points for King Saul!
Do you have a hard time admitting when you are wrong and verbally communicating that to others? Did you grow up with the John Wayne approach to relationships – believing that apologies are a sign of weakness? Especially for those in positions of authority – do you believe the lie that your position is somehow compromised by an admission of fault?
We learn from Scripture today and from life in general that apologies have a medicinal way of mending relationships and healing our hearts. Contrary to popular belief, some of our moments of most notable greatness are when we choose to humbly admit our faults and learn from our mistakes.
Gracious Father, please grow my heart in humility as I remember Jesus—the most exalted one—and his willingness to humble himself for me. Open my eyes to see the people I’ve wronged and strengthen my heart to offer an admission of guilt and a sincere apology. May this be a step toward restoring broken relationships in my life and cultivating greater Christ-likeness in me.
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 21
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Peter 5:1-7:
1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Questions to Consider
- What does it mean for us to clothe ourselves in humility?
- In what ways are Peter’s words at the end of verse 5 “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” both a warning and an encouragement?
- According to verses 6 & 7, how can we cultivate humility in our lives?
- Through his word choice, Peter is evoking the imagery of a slave putting on his apron, which he wears as a sort of uniform when he serves others. In this way, Peter is calling us to seek to be servants of one another, putting on humility as our work uniform, so to speak, as we go about doing Kingdom work.
- If we are proud, God is the one opposing us. And quite frankly, none of us want to be on the receiving end of God’s opposition. But if we choose the road of humility, we know that God will extend us the grace to walk it out.
- By depending on the Lord. Verse 7 is not a new command, but tells us how we can carry out verse 6. As we depend more on the Lord, we become more humble people and this extends to our interactions with one another.
Take a moment to reflect on the situations where you found it difficult to say you were sorry. Why do you think it is hard for you to apologize? Think back to times others have apologized to you. How did their apology affect you and the relationship? Are there people in your life to whom you need to admit your wrong and apologize? Ask God to remind you of his amazing grace and example of humility and to give you courage to say, “I’m sorry; I was wrong.”