July 25, 2022


Key Verse to Read and Treasure

And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer…And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice. (I Samuel 16:21-22; 18:11, ESV)  

For Insight

Which was it? Did Saul love or hate David? Back and forth Saul’s feelings for David went. He felt both awe and fear of David. Saul and David had a complicated relationship.

In any intimate relationship we can experience feelings of ambivalence. Having this odd mixture of feelings that contradict one another. Some say it is when they have a love-hate relationship with someone. It doesn’t have to be with such strong emotions. We can have it to a lesser degree where we like/don’t like, love something or someone but at other times not too fond of it. Feelings of ambivalence are not just about relationships or people we can be ambivalent about our work, thoughts on foreign affairs, religion or even food. Most of the time something—even a small matter—has disrupted our relationship with something or someone and causes a shift in our emotions or thoughts. As fickle as we may feel at those times, being ambivalent is not abnormal and usually (if the devil does not get his way) our feeling of ambivalence will resolve itself in due season.  

In the Bible we see many examples of people who experienced ambivalence toward others. Judas was one who had those feelings toward Christ. I the end the devil won out and Judas became a betrayer. History did not end well, and he lost his place as an apostle and heaven because he could not resolve his ambivalence toward his Lord and Savior.  

The more we think how easy it is for humans to entertain and possess a spirit of ambivalence the more we can be amazed and grateful that God does not fight with these back and forth emotions or thoughts towards us. He is never in a place where he is struggling with his feelings or thoughts about us. He does not have days where he loves us and then on other days dislike or even hate us. His thoughts and feelings towards us are the same: nothing but love even when we are at our worst or sin against him. God can hate the sin and still love the sinner.       

Praying I Samuel 16:21-22; 18:11

Loving and Gracious God, human emotions are complicated, but You already know this! Keep us balanced in every way and when feelings or thoughts of ambivalence rise up help us to work through them in a way that is healthy and that we have the victory even over these emotions and thoughts. Amen   

Prayer Challenge

Ask God to help you work out your feelings of ambivalence toward others, so the devil does not get the victory.

Digging Deeper

Read I Samuel 16

Read Hebrews 13:8

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