"Now may the LORD value my life, even as I have valued yours today. My He rescue me from all my troubles" (1 Samuel 26:24).
"Breathe. Just breathe." This is what we teach and do our best to lead by example to our children when we begin to get stressed out, upset, or angry. When one of them gets hurt by the other, whether physically or emotionally, there first inclination is to "get 'em back!" Our goal is to teach them to value each other so much, that they honor each other as ones that were created in the image of God. It's OK to get upset, hurt feelings, and even angry, but it's how we respond to that that gets us in trouble. It's a lot easier to go off and hurt someone in retaliation when we forget that they, too, are valued of God. We must live to value people as God values them.
This was the heart of David. He had motive and opportunity, again, to take revenge on an insecure king that seemed to stop at nothing to destroy David. He, again, chose to honor God by valuing the life of HIS king. David prayed that God would value his own life on the merit of his valuing the life of someone else, especially one who was out to attack David. So many times, people live life for themselves, avenging themselves, defending themselves, and looking out for themselves, and they don't value others in the way they want to be valued.
How do we value people? Not just in our personal lives, but people in general? Our aim should be to live in a way that we can stand with confidence to ask God value our lives based upon the standard of how we have valued, or how we value other people.
What is your "natural reaction" when you feel threatened or attacked? Do you want to 'get em'? Before the waves of anger drown you in bitterness and then, perhaps, regret, stop. Take a breath. Realize that they, too, are created by God. Just because they don't seem to value themselves doesn't let you off the hook of valuing them. You don't have to be a doormat. Ask God, today, how to respond in a way that honors him and acknowledges the value that He has placed within them. It's not easy, but trust Him to give you the strength.