16 May, 2014

Keeping It All In Perspective

Pretty well everyone wants to be a success. The only people who I’ve ever heard say they wanted to fail were, shall we say, not quite right. I mean I’ve never seen a baseball pitcher say, “I just want to go out there and give up a bunch of runs and lose tonight.”  Of course, no one acts that way. The point I’m trying to make is that we all want to be a success at whatever we do, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a success.  However, I also believe that success can be a dangerous thing. Actually, it’s not “success” that is a dangerous thing, it is how we react to that success.  If were not careful, it can go to our heads. Great achievements, and the pride that accompanies them, can become our downfall, if we are not wise and we let ourselves get the big head syndrome.

If ever there was a person who could have easily gotten a big head, it would have to be King David. Take a look at his background.  When we first read of David in the Bible, he was a shepherd. Let’s face it, shepherds were not high up on the social ladder. In fact, they were some of the lowest of the low when it came to social status. And then you have to consider that he was the youngest in his family. His older brother was pretty hard on him when he volunteered to slay Goliath and falsely accused him and insulted him.  My point is that David came from some pretty humble beginnings without a lot of prospect of becoming something that anyone would call successful. But then he kills that giant, Goliath, and suddenly finds himself living in the palace and from there life only got better as he became a great warrior, to the point that people literally sang his praises concerning his success and great exploits in battle. The people became fiercely loyal to him and they rejoiced when he became king of Israel. It sure would have been easy for it all to go to his head and for him to think that he was “all that.”  But to his credit, David kept his focus. He did not forget the Lord. While he was living in the luxury of his palace in Jerusalem, he expressed to Nathan his concern that the ark of the covenant sat in a tent. That night God gave Nathan a message for David. He was not to build a temple, but his son would and his kingdom would be established forever.  Becoming overwhelmed, David prayed:

Who am I, Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? ... There is no one like you, Lord(1 Chronicles 17:16,20).

That’s pretty amazing to me, that David managed to keep a proper perspective and rather than getting full of himself, he acknowledged that he was only where he was because of the Lord’s hand on his life.

What a great example for us to follow... always giving all glory to God for what he does in and through our lives. Rather than boasting on ourselves, our boast should be in the Lord for what He has done!

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