Monday, February 7, 2011

Behaving Wisely: Thinking Before...

We saw in the last post how David started out with humble beginnings. His heart was never proud and we never saw him complain about anything that he was called to do. This humility of the heart is where we all need to start out first. A proud heart is a foolish heart and can never be open to developing wisdom from counsel. The bible clearly tells us this...

"Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words." (Proverbs 23:9)

We know a proud heart when we see one. This is the typical "Me-First-Coz-I-Know-It-All" personality. There's no sense in trying to talk to a proud person because they would tell you that they already know what you're talking about! Or worse, they'll make you feel that you were stupid enough to think you can tell them something when they happen to know it all already. When we decide to want to behave wisely, we ought to start with a humble heart. We ought to empty ourselves of the love and esteem of SELF and start opening up to the counsel of God's Word. 

Now, as we look at David's life, we can see that he was not stagnant on the task that was given to him by his family. Yes, he was asked to watch the sheep in the fields but he never ceased to become more than that! Even though David's day was spent mostly in the company of helpless sheep, he didn't allow this situation to limit his talents and potential. 

We read about an evil spirit that troubled Saul the moment the Lord departed from him. Interestingly though, music was used by God to help soothe him during troubling moments. In 1 Samuel 16, Saul heeded his servant's advise about getting someone to play the harp for him. So, he asked his servants to seek a man who is skillful with the harp. 

Then we read about the servant's answer to Saul...

"Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him." (1 Samuel 16:18)

It's amazing how David's character was well-known round about. The servant who recommended him didn't only say he was good with the harp, but added on to say he was valiant, prudent and comely. David was a mere shepherd during these times but notice that others see more in him than just a lowly sheep keeper. David started out with humble beginnings, alright, but he didn't sulk nor limit himself in that situation...
  • As a shepherd in ancient times, David mastered the art and skill of war because he needed to protect the flock as well as tend to them. He wasn't only considered courageous or valiant, but the servant who spoke of him to Saul stressed that he was a "mighty valiant man." Now, that's redundant if you'd ask me, but it gives us the picture of how David behaved in his circumstance. He was not afraid of anything that would come to destroy (or should we use steal and devour) the flock he's taking care of... David gave his entire strength to do what he should do as a lowly shepherd. He became a man of war! He didn't have a pity-party about his lowly task, nor was he sulking in a corner and pouting about the tough job he's called to do. He was able to fight when the going gets tough!

    • We should really reflect on this one. We all could learn to be mighty and valiant when the going gets tough. It's a fact that we will one day find ourselves in a humbling situation and it will become really tough on us. But we shouldn't sulk about it in a corner. We shouldn't have a pity-party for our self.  Like David, we should all learn to wage war against anything that comes to destroy... we should learn to be mighty in war against anything that will devour and steal that which was placed under our care. We should put our entire effort into doing what we are tasked to do at any given place, time and scenario.
  • Although David was considered a "man of war", the next adjective that described him was prudent. He knew how to wage war alright, but he knew how to choose his battles as well. As a prudent man, David didn't just deal with any situation as he see fit. His prudence would have him handle matters with good judgment and common sense! He was cautious in all his dealings, actions and decisions.
    • If only we could be described as such, too. We can really use being prudent in our daily living. We ought to have better judgment and more common sense when it comes to dealing with the things that life throw at us! We should fight our battles, alright, but we should also learn how to choose which battles to fight! We ought to be like David, cautious in all our dealings, actions and decisions. Simply put, it's thinking before reacting; thinking before speaking; thinking before doing; thinking before acting; thinking before leaping into something. Learn to use caution in just about anything that we're dealing with. Don't just easily throw it in the wind. We ought to learn how to have good judgment in every detail of our daily lives.
  • David was also described as a "comely" person. That basically means he has a pleasing, wholesome and becoming appearance. He may be a man of war, but that is not what you would see in his face. David wasn't grimacing or frowning or angry-faced all the time, even if he was a mighty and valiant man. He could have chosen to have a smirk on his face or a proud look just because he isn't afraid of anything! But no, David had a pleasantly attractive, appropriate and decent look about him. 
    • I would want to put it this way... David had a happy countenance about him even in his lowly circumstance as a shepherd. He never was frowning, never was cross, never was belittling with his look as a skillful man of war. David's heart was so humble that his might and power never surfaced on the outside. He wasn't domineering, nor was he bossy-looking. He was simply and pleasantly David himself. I'm so sure this changes a whole lot of things in our day if we do learn from David's ways of being a comely person. I bet it will make our workplace, our school, our church, our community, our home a more pleasant place to be in if we only have a pleasant appearance. Most often, we catch ourselves in a frown, with a pout or a smirk. If only we could make it into a bright, beautiful, pleasant smile for a change... How about trying it now? Smile? Smile... that's it... a little more cheer and Smile! :)
David started with a humble beginning as a lowly shepherd, but that didn't limit him to become skillful with the harp or mighty and able to fight. He possessed good judgment and common sense for surely he knows exactly just when, where and how to fight his battles. He didn't wallow in self-pity! Let's take this in and practice what David had, shall we?

Let's be reminded that behaving cautiously is behaving wisely.

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