Have you noticed you have difficult people in your life? Hmmmm, come to think of it; I may be one of them to you! Sometimes, “difficult” just means someone sees life differently than me. (Tweet that!) But other times, “difficult” can mean something even more serious.
What does “strong” mean? Webster’s dictionary gives many definitions of the word but these I liked best:
- governing or leading with firm authority
- not easily defeated; formidable; not easily dislodged; deep-rooted
- having many resources
- having a powerful effect.
Abigail personified those definitions when she first approached David after hearing he would take revenge on her and her household. If you haven’t read her story recently, check out I Samuel 25. Then notice these ideas.
Appeasing (25:23): A strong woman isn’t afraid to act in a humble manner. It’s a paradox but strength is revealed in considering others more important than yourself, not being “full” of yourself.
Accountable (25:24): A strong woman doesn’t blame others. She takes responsibility when she is truly responsible. It’s not necessary to be accountable for things that aren’t our fault, but we do need to own up to our own faults and mistakes.
Amiable (25:24): A strong woman doesn’t assume she has an automatic hearing. By humbling herself, she makes a person more eager to hear her than the person who bursts in fully expecting instant attention.
Authentic (25:25): A strong woman speaks the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). Abigail accurately described her husband but not flippantly. Her tone was most likely said with godly sorrow, with concern over how his sin hurt himself and his family. Her motive wasn’t to make herself look good.
Assertive (25:26): A strong woman boldly encourages another person to acknowledge God’s work in their life.
Altruistic (25:27): A strong woman meets the needs of others.
Apologetic (25:28): A strong woman is willing to ask for forgiveness, even when she’s tempted to think, “It’s not fair. Look at what he did!”
Authoritative (25:28): A strong woman gently holds accountable others by reminding them of what is at stake.
Assiduous (25:29): A strong woman is determined and persistent.
Articulate (25:30): A strong woman asks for God’s words to inspire others.
Appeasing (25:31): A strong woman considers others more important than herself. Abigail points out that David is not supposed to take revenge: that’s God’s job.
What is the result of this wise woman’s interaction with David, the future king of Israel? He blesses Abigail and he praises God. He repents of the evil he had planned and after God strikes Nabal dead, David asks Abigail to marry him. Wow!
David Wilkinson in his book Secrets of the Vine comments, “She brings a caravan laden with supplies. But her most important gift is an impassioned reminder to David that his real identity and the security for his future are safe in God’s hands. In effect, Abigail pleads with David to see beyond his pain and choose instead to pass this test of faith.” (page 77).
We all can learn a lot from Abigail. In my next post, I’ll talk more about how to deal with difficult people.