When Donors Banish You

“Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him.” (2 Samuel 14:14)

David banished his son Absalom from Jerusalem for killing his stepbrother Amnon who had raped his sister Tamar. Three years passed. Joab, David’s general, knew David wanted to reconcile but couldn’t bring himself to welcome Absalom home. So, Joab sent a wise woman to David who made up a story about her two sons who got into a fight. One son killed the other and her whole family was demanding the living son be stoned. She pleaded with David for mercy. When he granted her request, she turned the story to David’s broken relationship with Absalom and urged David to forgive him. This incredible verse can guide you in repairing broken donor relationships.

Like water spilled on the ground…
We live in a broken world with broken people. There’s lots of banishing going on everywhere. Think of struggles in your own family. It’s no surprise when donors get offended and stop giving because of something you did or did not do. Sometimes it’s a simple misunderstanding which can be easily resolved. Sometimes the rift is severe. This verse paints a vivid picture; you can’t reclaim water that’s been spilled on the ground.

So we must die…
Pride, anger, jealousy, greed, and many other sins sever relationships. Perhaps you’ve tried to reconcile, but your relationship is on life support. To quote Miracle Max from Princess Bride, “Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do… Go through his clothes and look for loose change.” As long as your donor is still breathing, there’s hope for reconciliation.

But this is not what God desires…
God loved us while we were still sinners and sent Jesus to reconcile us to himself through his death on the cross. God has given us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). God desires to revive your donor relationships, but we live in a world where, “A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city; disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel” (Prov. 18:19).
Rather, he devises ways…
This beautiful promise gives us hope. You may have tried everything you can think of to heal your relationships, but nothing has worked. But God devises ways. He can turn hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. He applies the balm of Gilead on wounded souls (see Jer. 8:22). God can change your donor’s heart—and he can change yours.
So that the banished are no longer banished.
Commit your broken donor relationships into God’s hands and ask for a miracle. Even when you can’t see it, he’s working. He never stops working! Watching God restore friendships is a gratifying experience. “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).

Think About This: Joab’s wise woman courageously confronted David and encouraged him to reconcile. Is God prompting you to reconcile with a major donor.

Response: Lord, please heal my fractured donor relationships. Please forgive me and devise ways to bring reconciliation.

Have a Spirit-led Fundraising Week!

Ron Haas has served the Lord as a pastor, the vice president of advancement of a Bible college, a Christian foundation director, a board member and a fundraising consultant. He’s authored three books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising, Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving, and Keep on Asking – Bold, Spirit-Led Fundraising. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for  Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.

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