October 03, 2009

Strong Words

2 Samuel 19:1-8

“Go out and encourage your men.”
2 Samuel 19:7


David’s army commander, Joab, had strong words for his king. He spoke words of challenge as a loyal, committed subject, but he didn’t hold back. David needed to get his priorities straight and realize that his calling as king meant being the leader of God’s chosen people. He couldn’t keep wallowing in grief and self-pity.

Honest relationships, whether in the workplace, our church family, or at home, require encouraging words of support as well as challenge. Speaking the truth in love calls for praying fervently for the right words of healing while gathering courage to say difficult words at the right time. That was Joab’s assignment!

David’s son Absalom had caused great disunity in the kingdom. David had reacted poorly and had counted on others to lead when he should have done so. He needed some strong words, straight to the heart!

When Joab brought wise advice, David responded wisely. The kingdom couldn’t afford to have a king who cared less for his people than for his own son who had set up a rebellion that would have ruined the kingdom.

All of us need to be challenged at one time or another. We may not be in a situation like David’s, but there are times when we need the challenge of being encouraged to do what is right, even when it appears painful or poorly appreciated.

Gracious God, thank you for the people in our lives who confront and encourage us with care. Help us to speak as well as to listen to wise advice when it’s needed. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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