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May 11, 2020 553 0 Susan Uthup
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Attitude is Altitude

The stories from The Bible have always fascinated me. This incident in the life of King David had a great impact on my life (2Samuel 16:5-13).

Accompanied by his soldiers, David was fleeing for his life from His son Absalom, who was attempting to usurp his throne. He encountered a man named Shimei (a member of the same clan as Saul, the previous king). Shimei cursed and hurled insults at King David. David’s men were incensed and asked for permission to behead Shimei for this outrage.

David’s reply is very inspiring.“What business is it of mine or of yours, … that he curses? Suppose the LORD has told him to curse David; Who then will dare to say, ‘Why are you doing this?’” David also told his servants, “Perhaps the LORD will look upon my affliction and repay me with good for the curses he is uttering this day.”

This legendary king had the power to dispose of Shimei in an instant by uttering just a word. Instead, he chose to take the long view and regard the incident from God’s frame of reference. He knew that nothing in his life, not even the smallest thing, happens without God’s knowledge and permission. Instead of taking Shimei’s insults personally and responding in anger, David saw this event as an opportunity for God to work in his life.

We could all learn from this beautiful story. When we encounter unpleasant situations, we tend to be hostile toward the people who cause them, which can escalate the problem and cause further trouble. However, if we look from God’s perspective and respond like David, a happier outcome may result. It doesn’t mean that we never get hurt or upset by unkindness or misunderstanding, but when we adopt David’s attitude, we can react more graciously. God can change any negative situation in our lives to something beautiful if we allow Him to.

The difficult and challenging situations which occur in our lives are a great opportunity to recognize our strengths and weaknesses. When everything in my life is going very well, I may appear to be very patient and kind, but the minute a person behaves harshly toward me, my reaction shows me how much grace I need in this area.

Our primary purpose in life is to become holy. As Pope Francis says, “Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy. ”When God permits a painful and difficult situation to happen in your life, allow it to sanctify you. Rather than reciprocating with petulance, use this incident as an opportunity for spiritual growth.

Lord Almighty, You have graciously cared for me at every moment of my life. Even when I am beset by troubles, I know You hold me safely in the palm of Your hand. Help me to trust You in every adversity and react with gentleness and kindness.

Amen.

Susan Uthup

© works as a rehabilitation instructor at a rehabilitation center for the blind in Chicago, Illinois. She lost her eyesight in a car accident over fifteen years ago. Uthup shared her inspiring story in the SHALOM WORLD original series "Triumph" (www.ShalomWorld.org/triumph).

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