Many people view followers of God as weak, passive, and vulnerable. They have trouble associating a Christian with the aggressive and calculating demeanor of a war-time general or a corporate CEO.
But in 1 Samuel chapters 26 and 27 we see David as someone who was able to balance kindness with courage.
In 1 Samuel chapter 26, David is bold and courageous when he enters into Saul’s camp and puts himself in the position of holding Saul’s life in his hands. But He is also merciful and kind when he chooses to spare Saul’s life.
In 1 Samuel chapter 27, David is so sensitive and caring he actually lives with the enemy in order to keep his men and their families safe. But David is also shrewd and calculating. He systematically does away with his enemy, while his enemy thinks David is on their side. David creates a plan to destroy his enemy, while not only gaining their confidence but also their protection. And while he is doing this, he’s earning more and more loyalty from his fellow Israelites.
To follow God does not mean you have to be weak. Like David, we are to be both kind and courageous. Like a train, we need both the rails of kindness and courage to keep us on track. Kindness without courage is impotent, while courage without kindness is dictatorial. As Jesus put it, we need to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. (Matt. 10:16)
How are you doing balancing kindness and courage? If you find yourself out of balance, ask God to strengthen your area of weakness, and to bring you into balance.