2 Samuel 16 (October 10)

                                                                 Ziba or Shimei?

            “Ziba…met him…Shimei…cursed…”

            In every Christian congregation, you can find “Zibas and Shimeis.”

            Those who imitate Ziba love their brothers and sisters at all times, even when there are disagreements or conflicts. A brother or sister with the “Ziba spirit” is not prone to destructive criticism, but exhorts and helps others. We need more brothers and sisters like Ziba in our congregations.

            Ziba never abandoned David, not even in his darkest hours. He didn’t know all the details concerning the king’s disgrace, and perhaps he didn’t care if David was guilty or innocent. He was a true source of encouragement as he helped David financially and emotionally.

            Shimei, on the other hand, represents brothers and sisters who are part of the ministry of discouragement and harsh criticism. Unfortunately, some fellow believers have appointed themselves judges over the rest of the congregation, including pastors and leaders.

            I am not in favor of weak churches that abstain from denouncing sin. I am also not defending or condoning deliberate disobedience or rebellion in our congregations.

            Nevertheless, some believers face great trials, while others fall into sin. If you are a “Shimei,” they might not want to listen to your misguided and malevolent criticism; but if you are (or want to be) a “Ziba,” you will be able to restore fallen Christians and encourage those who may be in prisons of doubt or depression.

            Are you a Ziba or Shimei?

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