January 8, 2015


2 Samuel 6:21-22 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

This incident is an important clue in understanding the character of “a man after God’s own heart.” (Acts 13:22) David’s focus wasn’t on himself, it was on God, and he wasn’t afraid to look ridiculous for the sake of God. That attitude is sadly not very common. Jesus Himself exemplified it the night before His crucifixion when like David He disrobed, and taking the posture of a slave, washed His disciples’ feet. (John 13:1-17) Too many leaders in the organized Church demand honor and respect, instead of willingly giving all honor and respect to the Lord they say they serve. Following the theme of humility through the Bible, it is clear that God delights to use those who recognize, and aren’t afraid to acknowledge, their own insignificance apart from God. There are stories of Abraham Lincoln, for example, doing things that showed a disregard for whether people thought he was polished and refined, yet he spent time in prayer seeking God’s mercy on America. He was far from a perfect man, but then David too made some drastic mistakes. The point is whether the focus is on personal aggrandizement or on doing the job God has assigned. We would all do well to learn from David, and not be afraid to be undignified because of our devotion to the Lord.

Like every teenager I went through a period of desperately wanting to look good to my peers, but thankfully that passed. It was tremendously liberating when I got married, because I knew my wife would love me no matter how ridiculous I might seem sometimes (in contrast to one of David’s wives). However, that wasn’t directly related to serving God. I learned from my father not to take myself too seriously, and that was a generational blessing. When taking a group picture, he was known to lift one leg and waggle it off to the side to make people laugh, so he could get a good picture. I have never hesitated to follow that example. However, I have hesitated at times to speak out what I felt the Lord was saying, for fear I was wrong and would be ridiculed for what I said. That is focusing on myself instead of my Lord! I’ve got room to grow in getting myself out of the picture, which interestingly enough means being increasingly available for God to put me into the picture, doing His will for His glory.

Father, I feel like You are saying that You are going to do things this year that will put me into the spotlight. Help me not seek the spotlight but not run from it either, being fully focused on obedience to You whether anyone else is watching or not. May Your will be done in and through me, on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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