And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.”
But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to Him.” And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
— First Samuel 1:12-19
Let us all learn from Hannah’s word. Her response to the one who had misjudged her was, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight” (1 Sam. 1:18). If we learn to respond in this way whenever someone is critical of us, we could be saved from so many problems in the church life!
One day, when I was a young believer, I was sorrowful before the Lord concerning a matter that weighed heavily upon my heart. A church elder saw me and rebuked me, and as I cried, he rebuked me again and commanded me to stop weeping. I did, and by the Lord’s mercy I honored him as someone whom the Lord had placed over me for my care. At that moment, I realized how grave the situation was. To my feeling, if I reacted improperly I would have lost my unclouded relationship with Christ and His church, for to my feeling that elder represented both.
Just be prepared. In the church life, there are many opportunities to be misunderstood. Even if others charge that what you are doing is terrible, learn to say, “May I find favor in your sight.” This is the secret of having a healthy church life.
Adapted from David: After God’s Heart, page 21.
Tomorrow: “The Way to Have a Sweet Church Life”