excessive emotions

2 Samuel 19:1 – 8 Joab was told, “The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” And for the whole army the victory that day was turned into mourning, because on that day the troops heard it said, “The king is grieving for his son.” The men stole into the city that day as men steal in who are ashamed when they flee from battle. The king covered his face and cried aloud, “O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!”   Then Joab went into the house to the king and said, “Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines. You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that the commanders and their men mean nothing to you. I see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead. Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the Lordthat if you don’t go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come on you from your youth till now.” So the king got up and took his seat in the gateway. When the men were told, “The king is sitting in the gateway,” they all came before him.  Meanwhile, the Israelites had fled to their homes.

First glance reading this my heart broke for David.  He was grieving the death of his son and shame on Joab for not respecting that and giving David space.  But something about the men stole into the city ashamed and the Israelites fled to their homes made me wonder.

David was suppose to be their leader, their king.  He’s grieved before.  What made this different?

Excessive emotions.  I know what it’s like to be caught up in my emotions and to make it all about me.  I have allowed my own emotions to take control and said things that shouldn’t of been said.  Behaved in an excessive manner that hurt those around me.  When I really think about this by putting myself in the picture I can understand why Joab came to David and called him out.  The people needed David.  My children need me, my husband needs me.  They need me to respond appropriately, not to create fear or shame.

I don’t think that means I don’t grieve, feel sad, disappointment or anger.  It does mean that I keep my emotions in perspective and act appropriately.  That just because I’m having a bad day doesn’t mean I can’t rejoice over my child’s victory, my husband’s good news.  I can always put those things aside and be present in the lives of the ones I love and who love me.

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