I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 16:7-8, 11
I'm reading about King David with the boys right now. He refused to kill Saul or his descendants, even in the face of great provocation from Saul, anointing from God and multiple opportunities. Out of reverence for and fear of God, he refused to do what made A LOT of sense in his day - to kill off the rival king and heirs who threatened your power, particularly if that king was actively trying to kill you, was a no-brainer. David even had the men who claimed to have killed Saul and who had murdered Saul's son executed. In his day, that was a crazy way to do things - but it was God's way.
This hit me even harder when I read later on that day about the actions of the Roman emporers who claimed to be Christian. They consistently killed off rivals, and they had Jesus' teachings. Their culture and the "practical" way of doing things was just too ingrained. I know that in all likelihood some were not believers but just used Christianity for political purposes. But I think some really were believers and just would not let go of pursuing life their own way to let the Lord counsel them.
This makes me wonder what I accept blindly and unthinkingly from my culture but is actually offensive to God and not even in my best interest.