Christian Devotional – August 23, 2020

Always Second – #9

Trouble again. Unfortunately, Jonathan’s peacemaking between his father and David from the last chapter didn’t stick. Saul is angry again and again is seeking to kill David. David has run and hid but Jonathan seeks him out. Read 1 Samuel 20:1-4.

Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said to Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my iniquity? And what is my sin before your father, that he is seeking my life?” He said to him, “Far from it, you shall not die. Behold, my father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me. So why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so!” Yet David vowed again, saying, “Your father knows well that I have found favor in your sight, and he has said, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, or he will be grieved.’ But truly as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is hardly a step between me and death.” Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.” 1 Samuel 20:1‭-‬4 NASB

Jonathan doesn’t want to believe that his father is still trying to kill David. However, his commitment to David refuses to let him not take David’s concerns seriously. So what is he to do? Well, Jonathan doesn’t know. Sometimes that’s where we find ourselves. We want to help and we want to be useful to those around us, but we don’t know what they need. Instead of assuming that we know what someone needs in a situation, maybe we should just ask them like Jonathan did. Jonathan just comes out and asks David, “What do you need from me?”

That can be such an amazingly powerful question. It allows people to very clearly define for us how they want us to help. Many times, we will get sucked into someone else’s discussion of all the things that are wrong in their life. People like to vent and share frustration. However, sometimes we make the mistake of assuming that they want us to fix their problems. Sometimes people just want to share and feel heard. This is a great question to ask in those situations. Not only does it help to clearly define our role in helping, but it also serves to help people get focused on solutions and not just problems.

When we are working with others, do we ask them what they need, or do we assume we know and just do things. Are we focusing on getting people thinking about solutions or just dwelling on the problems?

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