Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Because you considered my life precious today, I will not try to harm you again.”
Read the entire passage: 1 Samuel 26.17-25
Saul repeatedly seeks to take David’s life even though David has done nothing to provoke the king’s wrath except serve faithfully and fight Saul’s battles. David spends years on the run from Saul and his army. This situation is unfair to say the least!
Even so, David consistently forgives the king. He hands Saul over to the Lord and invites restoration of the relationship. Saul never makes it back from this conflict but that’s not the point. The point is David honored God and walks away from this conflict with a clean conscience.
Forgiveness is hard. We’d like to think it’s a one-time event where we lay it all on the table and get it behind us. But that’s rarely the case. Usually, forgiveness is a process—a series of moments (sometimes over years) where we release judgment for the injury we’ve received. We could hold onto it but we’d only be poisoning ourselves. God desires to free us from the burden of vengeance.
Jesus’s disciples wondered how many times they should extend forgiveness. Jesus responded, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven” (Matthew 18.22). In other words, there is no end to the forgiveness we give. Jesus models this for us.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Take some time today to write Ephesians 4.32 on a card or type in your mobile device. Commit it to memory to guide your heart and mind when you struggle to forgive.