In 2nd Samuel we find a kid named Mephibosheth, the son of David’s best friend Jonathan. David had promised Jonathan that if anything happened to him, David would show love to his family.
David promised to love someone.
Saul and Jonathan die, David tracks down Mephibosheth who is hiding in fear and brings the young man into the palace to live (2 Sam. 9:8-10).
Because he kills Uriah after having a affair with his wife, David’s family falls apart.
He has to run for his life. After various intrigues and doublecrosses, we arrive at 2nd Samuel 16. Ziba, Mephibosheth’s steward approaches David and tells David that Mephibosheth has sided with the enemy. Absalom dies. David returns to Jerusalem and confronts Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth says that he didn’t side with Absalom at all. Ziba, he says, abandoned him.
Who’s telling the truth? Ziba or Mephibosheth? One of them is lying.
Here’s my point. We never find out if Mephibosheth is lying because David never asks Mephibosheth if he is lying. There is no need for David to know the character of this man because David is in this relationship NOT based upon the performance of Mephibosheth but based upon David’s promise to love. The man who had a heart for God took this person who had nothing to offer their relationship, who brought nothing into the relationship yet took much out, David kept his covenant of love because that is what God’s people do. When we promise to love someone, it is a promise based not on performance or worth. It is a commitment to love because that is what God asks of us.
It is God’s story of His love for us that allows us to pass on that agape love to others, regardless of their ability to give to us.