When I first came to Christ, I found a small "mom & pop owned" Christian bookstore not far around the corner from my house. It had been there all along, but I'd never known quite what it was. Its name, Fishers of Men, sounded like a seafood market which was odd, I thought, for a city in the mountains.
Once I understood the name's reference, I spent a lot of time and money in that shop, reading nearly every book they had. One was called All the Women of the Bible. It was a reference book of sorts, listing out each biblical woman, telling the meaning of her name and the highlights of her story. I was very taken by the story of Abigail.
Fresh off a liberal arts, state college education with plenty of steeping in feminist thought, I couldn't believe how she acted. I wasn't so impressed with how nice Abigail was, but that she was ABLE to be that nice to that man in those circumstances. I was pretty sure I couldn't have acted like Abby did had I wanted to. And, for the record, I didn't want to. I wanted her to clobber her no-good husband Nabal!
And yet I was impressed that she didn't. How could she not?
My tendency back then, and sometimes even now, is to withhold love, help, forgiveness or grace unless or until the other person deserves it. And that's a choice.
Abigail's life teaches me that I can be the kind of person - woman, wife, mother, daughter, friend - that God calls me to be despite how others around me behave. I can be who I want to be, even if that lets them off the hook in some way.
Did Nabal benefit from Abby's goodness without being deserving of those benefits? Yes. But isn't God often good to us without our deserving it? And isn't God deserving of our obedience to be kind and to love our neighbors and enemies, even if those neighbors and enemies are jerks? Yes.
And here's another one to consider, don't we deserve to be women of virtue despite how others choose to see us or treat us?
Yes, we deserve to lead God-honoring, bless-worthy lives regardless of our circumstances, income level, marriage status, physical flaws, lack of stable upbringing or anything else. We can make Abigail's choice to live well. And that's what I'm seeking to do.
Who or what helps you live well?
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Choose well today!