I tossed and turned, kicking off the covers, snuggling back beneath them, desperately trying to find some spot of comfort so I could rest. Truth be told, it wasn’t my body that was struggling for relief–it was my mind.
I was dealing with a relationship in which someone I loved was in the wrong in a big way. I knew it needed to be addressed, but I didn’t want to be the one to do it.
Finally, I was so miserable, I told the Lord I would do whatever He asked of me. I sought His wisdom, and He gave me the Scripture and the words He wanted me to share.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”James 1:5, NIV 84
Have you ever been in a situation in which you knew you needed to confront something, but you were so perplexed by indecision and doubt that you couldn’t find rest for your soul?
As we continue in our series on Biblical Women Just Like Us, Abigail comes to mind as a woman of great wisdom. When faced with a foolish husband on one hand and an army coming against them on the other, Abigail had to make a life and death decision.
3 Ways to Walk in Wisdom with Relationships
Abigail was married to Nabal, a very wealthy but mean and foolish man. David and his men, on the run from Saul, were nearby and needed food. Because David’s men had protected Nabal’s shepherds and treated them well, David expected that Nabal would return the favor with provisions (1 Samuel 25:1-8).
But Nabal was not a nice man, so he refused. When David got word, he told his men to arm up. He and 400 men set out to attack Nabal, intending to kill him and all his men (12-13). One of Nabal’s servants warned Abigail.
“‘David sent messengers from the desert to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them. Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing, Night and day they were a wall around us all the time we were herding our sheep near them.'”1 Samuel 25:14b-16
The servant knew that what his master did was wrong, so he appealed to the wisdom of his master’s wife. All their lives were at stake.
“‘Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.'”1 Samuel 25:17
Walking in wisdom means taking action when necessary.
Abigail wasted no time coming up with a plan. She had the servants prepare food for David and his men and went out to meet him.
Abigail knew that her husband’s foolish behavior put all of them in jeopardy. Had she done nothing, David would have shed innocent blood.
“My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”James 5:19-20
Sometimes God is calling us to be the one to confront a situation. It’s never easy, but He will give us the wisdom we need to do so.
Walking in wisdom requires humility.
“When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground.”1 Samuel 25:23
Abigail came before David in a spirit of humility and gentleness. She brought with her the provisions his men needed. She mediated the situation and asked David to overlook her husband’s foolishness and instead accept her apology on his behalf.
If God calls us to confront an issue, we should always approach the situation with humility and gentleness. If our desire is to be vindicated or to seek to be “right” rather than a desire to help the other person grow in her relationship with the Lord, then we are out of the will of God.
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”Galatians 6:1
The temptation is to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. We need to seek the Lord and a spirit of humility first.
Walking in wisdom requires careful thought to our words.
Abigail was careful to not blame David, but she pointed out to him the importance of serving God and not shedding innocent blood.
“‘When the LORD has done for my master every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him leader over Israel, my master will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself.'”1 Samuel 25:30-31
When we deal with a situation in a relationship, we should ask God to give us the words to say. He can prepare us in advance with Scripture as He did with me, or He may tell us to go and let His Spirit guide our words. Either way, we need to give careful thought to our words and seek to build up and not tear down.
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”Ephesians 4:14-15
Paul is referring to spiritual maturity in this context. In other words, we have to be spiritually mature and know the Word before we seek to share it with others. We need to speak truth; but we have to do it in love and from a heart of love.
Walking in wisdom brings blessing.
“David said to Abigail, ‘Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.'”1 Samuel 25:32-33
When we seek God’s wisdom in dealing with our relationships, He will guide us to take action with humility and careful thought to our words, so that others may be blessed.
The story didn’t end so well for Nabal. He died the next day. But things turned around for Abigail.
The Bible tells us that she was both beautiful and intelligent. Her marriage to Nabal could very well have been an arranged marriage that she had no hope of escaping. He was both mean and foolish, so she likely had been mistreated, but Abigail was a woman of honor who interceded on his behalf.
Because she chose to walk in wisdom, God blessed her and brought her into a relationship with David, the future king.
Is there a situation you need to confront in a relationship? Don’t hesitate to trust God with your difficulty, even if it means you have to share the truth. Trust God to lead you with His wisdom as you seek Him.
Who knows? Your intervention could save someone from a lifetime of pain.