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Session 14

A life of harmony or hostility

Read: 2 Samuel 10

Upsetting news can bring out raw emotions in everyone. We often respond in irrational ways because we’re not thinking clearly. Our fears and frustrations often snowball out of control until our reaction becomes more dramatic than the actual event. 

The king of the Ammonites, Hanun, had just experienced tragedy in his family. His father had passed away, and Hanun was suddenly thrust into being king. David, the king of Israel, sent a team of messengers to express sympathy to Hanun and offer assistance. 

However, Hanun was misinformed about the messengers’ intent. He was told David’s intentions were bad — that he had sent these men as spies. Instead of welcoming David’s men, Hanun captured them, shaved their beards as a form of public humiliation, disrobed the men from the waist down, and forced them to leave the city in a demeaning march (2 Samuel 10:4). 

Hanun was picking a fight, and there was indeed a fight. David launched a vicious attack to avenge the humiliation of his men. Rather than apologize to David for his overreaction, Hanun foolishly held to his original viewpoint. The war escalated and increased in intensity, resulting in multiple fatalities.  

How often have we, like Hanun, watched mistakes pile up until it feels like we have painted ourselves into a corner? Often instead of admitting our faults and apologizing (James 5:16), we respond angrily and defensively.

How we respond to situations can make the difference between a life of harmony or a life of hostility.

How we respond to situations can make the difference between a life of harmony or a life of hostility. Proverbs 19:11 states, “A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense.” God instructs us to turn from evil and do good; to seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14). When we learn to apologize for our mistakes and forgive others we can avoid the pain Hanun experienced and live a more peaceful life. 

Reflect:

  • How do you handle anger? Do your reactions during conflict reflect an attitude of harmony or hostility? 
  • What relationship in your life needs the healing power of confession and forgiveness?
  • What is one thing you can do today to move toward peace in that relationship?

1

It’s OK to allow ourselves to grieve

It’s OK to allow ourselves to grieve

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2

Respecting someone after they hurt you

Respecting someone after they hurt you

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3

When following God, always ask for directions

When following God, always ask for directions

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4

Does God call us to quit?

Does God call us to quit?

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5

Has your anger gone too far?

Has your anger gone too far?

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6

What “they” say doesn’t matter

What “they” say doesn’t matter

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7

Why waiting is worth it

Why waiting is worth it

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8

Why should I ask God what to do?

Why should I ask God what to do?

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9

Sing like no one is listening

Sing like no one is listening

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10

God always has a better plan

God always has a better plan

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11

Why would God choose me?

Why would God choose me?

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12

What is the secret to success?

What is the secret to success?

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13

Come out of the shadows

Come out of the shadows

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14

A life of harmony or hostility

A life of harmony or hostility

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15

What popcorn can teach you about sin

What popcorn can teach you about sin

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16

Did you hear what she did last night?!

Did you hear what she did last night?!

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17

Is God fair?

Is God fair?

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18

The difference between love and lust

The difference between love and lust

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19

Why would I reconcile with God?

Why would I reconcile with God?

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20

Is the work of discipline worth it?

Is the work of discipline worth it?

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21

How do you know who to trust?

How do you know who to trust?

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22

Choose your battles wisely

Choose your battles wisely

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23

How to handle the haters

How to handle the haters

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24

Pride: a fatal flaw

Pride: a fatal flaw

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25

Do you act before you think?

Do you act before you think?

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26

Getting over the grip of grief

Getting over the grip of grief

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27

Do for others what Jesus has done for you

Do for others what Jesus has done for you

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28

Your words can ease the tension

Your words can ease the tension

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29

Is God your last resort?

Is God your last resort?

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30

How do you feel about God?

How do you feel about God?

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31

How to praise God in all circumstances

How to praise God in all circumstances

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32

Waiting for a leader worth following?

Waiting for a leader worth following?

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33

What you need to lead others well

What you need to lead others well

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34

How to fight with God’s strength

How to fight with God’s strength

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35

God’s character revealed

God’s character revealed

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