Insecure | Mistreated
Monday— The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre…Saul had his spear in his hand and hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” Samuel 18:10-11
-You’ve been nothing but kind to your boss, serving wherever you can—and he fires you for no reason.
-You thought your marriage was great. You loved your spouse and dreamed about your future—then caught them cheating.
-You adore your grandbaby, try to be thoughtful to her parents—and suddenly you’re forbidden to see her with no explanation.
That’s how David felt after he’d played his Top 40 hits for the king—and suddenly Saul threw a spear at him.
Mistreatment can come at us out of the blue, like a spear in the heart. You didn’t see it coming, weren’t prepared, but wonder what to do now. Your first reaction is shock, then disbelief, then anger, and finally _________. There’s a blank because you get to fill in the answer. How have you responded when mistreatment has hurtled toward you? We have no control over the actions of other people but we have complete control over our responses. We aren’t responsible for the wounding but for what we do with it. David may have been tempted to pack up his lyre, leave a note, and head back to his sheep. Saul was a jealous, vindictive jerk and he didn’t deserve music. But David stayed anyway, he kept playing, and he eventually won. You can too.
Final Thought: We can’t avoid mistreatment, but we can control how we respond to it. Stay—Play—And win.
Prayer: Father, I’m tempted to seek revenge when mistreatment comes at me out of the blue. Help me learn to handle it like David did. I won’t quit doing right just because someone doesn’t appreciate it. I’ll stay and play ‘til you bring the win. Amen.
Tuesday— But when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, she was given to Adriel… 1 Samuel 18:19
As if the spear-throwing was not enough, King Saul dangled his daughter in front of David and then snatched her away. Insecurity can create jealousy, and Saul was consumed with it. But the worse Saul treated David, the more David dug in his heels. The mistreatment by Saul was unjust. David had reason to leave. But what he didn’t yet know was that he was in training. God was using the current king’s misdeeds to develop character and strength in His future king. Because of the mistreatment he was suffering, David wrote many of the Psalms, pouring out his heart to God. They show us how to do it too.
Jealous insecurity causes divisions in families, wars between nations, and conflict in churches. If it is allowed to take root in a heart, it explodes into all sorts of evils, even murder. Saul was apparently staying up nights trying to think of ways to hurt David. His heart had turned from God and was consumed with destroying a good man who did not want to be his enemy. He’d promised his daughter to David in marriage, but then gave her to another man. Surely that would cause David to strike back and justify Saul killing him. But David knew God was in control, so he refused to take revenge. We face the same choice when we’ve been mistreated. We can return evil for evil. Or we can recognize that we’re in training and we trust God to make it right.
Final Thought: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay,” says the Lord (Romans 12:19).
Prayer: Father, help me remember that I have a choice when I’ve been wronged. I can take matters into my own hands or I can trust you to make it right. Mistreatment is an opportunity for me to grow, and—your vengeance is better. Amen.
Wednesday— David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam…then went to live in the strongholds of En-gedi… in the wilderness strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. 1 Samuel 14-23
Why would a young, good-looking future king wander from cave to forest to wilderness hiding out? Because of someone else’s insecurity. He’d done nothing wrong, but the king was out to get him. So David spent thirteen years on the run from King Saul. He didn’t get to live his best life during those years and many of the Psalms reflect his frustration and desperation. It was depressing to see his future dangled before him like a carrot on a string. But he couldn’t reach it. With no home and no kingdom to rule, he had to settle for caves. But it was then that David learned how to depend on God for the timing.
Sometimes it feels like our future dangles before us like a carrot on a string. A spouse. A child. A house. An education. We know God gave us the vision, but we can’t reach it yet. But while we focus on the goal, God focuses on the journey. He’s keenly interested in what we learn along the way. Will we remain faithful? Will we wait on His timing? Will we develop patience, faith, and trust? OR will we take matters into our own hands and ruin everything? Sometimes we face caves and more caves. But while we wander from cave to cave we have the opportunity to develop the character we will need when we attain our goal.
Final Thought: Mistreatment tells us it has stolen our destiny. But it’s part of the journey toward who He wants us to be.
Prayer: Father, you know the dreams of my heart and some of them I am sure you placed there. Help me not rush ahead but wait on your timing. Remind me that mistreatment is only a course in graduate school for my future. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Thursday— And as the women danced, they sang out: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”
And Saul was furious and resented this song. 1 Samuel 18:7-8
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous highlighted just how pitiful our own homes are. When Facebook and Instagram compare our sweatpants life with someone else’s Glamour Shots, insecurity can take over and cause us to make foolish, even sinful, decisions. Comparison is a thief that steals our joy and peace. King Saul had no reason to compare himself with David, but when the crowds praised David, comparison became insecurity. Saul did well; David did better. Saul was handsome; David was gorgeous. Women swooned over Saul, but they chased David through the streets. Comparison stole Saul’s contentment.
In our internet world, we have access to anything we want to know with one finger tap. But not all information is beneficial. Do we really need to know how much Kim Kardashian’s hair extensions cost? Are our lives improved because we saw an aerial photo of one of Bill Gates’ mansions? The power of a TV commercial lies in how well it can make us compare ourselves to some imaginary person who is better than we are because they use a certain product. Comparison steals originality because God did not create us all equal. Short, tall, fat, thin, black, red or brown skin—God expects us to be our unique selves so that we reflect His glory in unique ways. Do we compare chocolate with skiing? No. They cannot be compared with one another. And human beings can’t be compared either. When we try, we create insecurity which leads to jealousy which leads to sin.
Final Thought: How much of your insecurity comes from comparing yourself and your situation with an imaginary ideal?
Prayer: Father, I do this a lot. I see someone who seems better than me and I feel like I’m not enough. But you created me to reflect your glory and character in ways that please you. So let that be my focus instead of comparison. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Friday— Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had departed from Saul. 1 Samuel 18:12
“Why on earth is she so mean to me?” Lois asked. “I’ve been nice to her. I’ve given her rides, loaned her money, and never talked bad about her, even though I could. But she gossips about me and treats me like dirt!” Evan nodded. “I know. I’ve seen how kind you are to her and she does not deserve it. Have you considered that she might be afraid of you?” Lois laughed. “Afraid of me? Are you kidding? Why would she be afraid of me?” Evan looked thoughtful. “Because she sees how popular you are with the boss. She sees how we all like you and we don’t like her. She’s afraid you’ll get her job—and you just might!”
Insecurity makes people dangerous. Saul had all the power; David had none. Yet, Saul was afraid of this kid. He saw in David everything he should have been and wasn’t. God had chosen Saul as king of Israel, but Saul blew it big time, so God removed His favor and placed it on David. Instead of repenting, Saul lashed out at David. Maybe you’ve experienced that. You’d done nothing wrong but someone else’s insecurity caused you headaches. Or maybe you’re the one with insecurity and you’ve caused headaches for someone else. A coworker. A family member. A friend. You feared losing the relationship or your status and you took it out on them. Healing starts when we admit our insecurity and confess our wrong to those we targeted.
Final Thought: Are you more like Saul or David?
Prayer: Father, I know what it’s like for someone to mistreat me because of their own insecurity. But I’ve done that to other people, so please forgive me. I will find my security in who you say I am and in your plan for my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.