When the LORD does for my lord all the good He promised and appoints you ruler over Israel, there will not be remorse or a troubled conscience for my lord because of needless bloodshed or my lord’s revenge. And when the LORD does good things for my lord, may you remember me your servant. – 1 Samuel 25:30-31
One piece of advice has managed to stick with me through multiple opportunities and places of service and though I haven’t always succeeded, it has never been abandoned. What was this snippet of wisdom? Don’t burn your bridges.
When moving from one position or place of service to another … or just moving through life … it is often best to leave a bridge of communication (an open door or relationship) behind you. Who knows what opportunities might arise, what further need for collaboration might exist? For one reason or another, you may need to pass that way again.
This is the type of counsel that Abigail gave David as he sought to take revenge on Nabal for his selfish slight. She knew that God intended to use David for an exalted purpose and one little act of anger-driven revenge might taint his future forever. David heeded Abigail’s advice and God took care of his enemy. The future king didn’t always act in God’s interest, but this time he listened and his reputation was preserved. Abigail helped the king and as a reward, God helped her.
Wise advice or counsel should always be welcomed (even if it isn’t easy to heed) and we should always be thankful (and find a way to express that thanks) for those who help us hear it.
In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior. – Francis Bacon