Anger · Responding to trials

Who Me, Overreact?!

In case you missed it, this series about David, Nabal and Abigail began here.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

It’s so easy for me to feel defeated in my Christian life, but it’s only when I”m listening to the lies of the Devil…

You did that and you call yourself a Christian? What a poor excuse of a follower of Christ you are! You fail again and again!

Then I open the Scriptures and am reminded that I’m not alone in the desire and occasional defeat as I walk this road of a follower of Jesus Christ.

As we read the story of David approaching Nabal with the request for food and provision for him and his men, we find that Nabal responds with anger and refusal. Even though there was plenty of food at this time of sheep shearing, he selfishly clung to what was his. David was so angered that he told his whole army to strap on their swords. They were going to kill all the men of Nabal’s household and employment!

If you’ve ever been really, really hungry, you might understand David’s anger, but does it sound a little harsh to KILL a host of men because you’re denied a meal?


It was too great a punishment and David would have been guilty of the blood of these men if Abigail hadn’t wisely stepped in to stop him.

But let’s go back to David for a minute and consider his situation.

  • He is Hungry. How long had it been since he and his men had eaten?!
  • He is Angry. He was to be the next king, and he is insulted by the refusal of foolish Nabal who responded so rudely.
  • He is Lonely. Samuel, his mentor and friend had just died. He surely was grieving this loss.
  • He is Tired. He is running from King Saul who was set on killing David.

Hungry, Angry Lonely, Tired. Making an acronym from those four words, we get the word…


The combination of those emotions can cause anyone to act foolishly. Instead of proceeding, we must HALT.

Then what?


Like David, if we find any combination of those emotions, we are in a dangerous place. David was spared his foolish decision of killing these men, thanks to Abigail. We learn from his example that we do not have to let a harsh, badly behaved person turn us into a harsh badly behaved woman!

We may not have an Abigail to step in, but we have our God to run to for help and direction. If we will stop and receive God’s counsel in His Word and prayer, He can guide us to the next step in wisdom, rather than our fleshly response. Wisdom will give God glory. Foolishness will get us into deeper trouble.

I might add that it’s easy to act impulsively to people who are not even the ones angering us. Innocent bystanders who happen to cross our path at the wrong time could get the brunt end of our emotional outburst. Have you ever lashed out at your husband because someone outside your home insulted you? It’s easy to take out our frustrations on those we love the most!

Where do your emotions find you today? Do you need to HALT before proceeding? We may be angered like David was, but we can also take wise counsel in the same way he did and be spared the foolishness of overreacting and sinning as a result.

Just as we can be tempted to respond harshly, like David, we can also learn to HALT!

2 thoughts on “Who Me, Overreact?!

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