2011-12-23 / Church

Today’s Meditation

Responding With Grace
From The Upper Room
The World’s Most Widely Read Daily Devotional Guide

Read 1 Samuel 1:1-18

Eli said to [Hannah], “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.” But Hannah answered, “No, my Lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.”

- 1 Samuel 1:14-15 (NRSV)

I can empathize with Hannah in this story, as I too have endured embarrassing public accusations, rumors, and misunderstandings. Unfortunately, although my experiences may mirror Hannah’s, often my responses don’t. Usually when I am falsely accused, my responses range from angry insults to frosty put-downs to tearful complaints.

In contrast, when Hannah was falsely accused, she politely explained her behavior. Her words to Eli were gracious and respectful. Any cutting remark I might have made would only have shown my disdain for Eli--and that would not have achieved the positive result that Hannah’s response did. When Hannah responded without rancor, she allowed Eli to respond in the same spirit, in spite of his earlier misunderstanding. While one of my knee-jerk responses could have prompted harsh words from Eli, instead Eli’s kind response brought Hannah both comfort and hope. She went home happy.

Imagine the impact we could have on our families, our churches, and our communities if we responded to accusations, rumors, or insults the way Hannah responded to Eli!

Leona Matson

(British Columbia, Canada)

Thought for the Day: No matter what others say or do, I can respond with grace and love.

Prayer: Thank you, God, for the examples you give us in your word. Help us be as gracious as Hannah was to Eli. Amen.

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