I learned a long time ago that you are not going to please everyone. Make sure you are pleasing the people that matter most to you. In essence, don’t sacrifice your most important relationship to appear strong to others (many of them you can’t please). So a long time ago, I decided that my family fits in my most important relationships. I try to be the best me I can be for my family. And I often feel like they deserve more from me. I question if I am good enough. If my family implies that I could have done more, I question my value. I have given my family’s opinion of me great power (probably too much power). Recently, the story of a bright boy challenged me to reconsider the power I give to my family’s opinion of me.
A long time ago, a bright boy had great potential. He was a challenged to become a great leader. He was a hard worker. He had two jobs. Some days, he would work for his family, and on other days he worked for the leaders he was destined to become. Not only was he a hard worker, he was a musician and a good speaker. He had a reputation for being one of the best. And if that wasn’t enough, he was a good looking man. Even this boy couldn’t please everyone.
I don’t think his brothers like him. He was the youngest in a big family. Once, the family was invited to participate in an important event, and he was the only son that wasn’t there. I know this is only one event, but I wonder if it happen more often and I don’t understand why they didn’t give the work to someone else. In addition, in my opinion, some of his brothers were jealous of him. The jealousy revealed itself in how he treated his brother harshly. The brother was mean This brother told the bright boy had evil in his heart.
One day, the oldest boys were soldiers in a war. The father told the bright boy to take food to his brothers. When his oldest mean brother meet the boy, the mean brother said, ““Why have you come down?…I know your presumption and the evil of your heart…”
Although this is a true story, I don’t know this bright boy personally. I have only heard his story. So I have to admit. I am imputing my own emotion on this guy (which is probably not right). I know that as a woman, I am probably more emotionally driven than this guy. I also know that his situation and experiences are different than mine. But this point is, if my sister (because I don’t have a brother) was concerned about me being driving by the evil my heart. This would consumed me.
I don’t handle such criticism from my family well. I would take it personally, but this bright boy doesn’t seem too. In fact, many people who know David’s story (1 Samuel 16-17) don’t think about his family dynamic.
In his story, his family politics are in the background (and that is probably where they belong). He is focused on what to remove the problem (those who are defying the Lord). It could have been easy for David to overly concern himself with his family, but he didn’t. Because he focused on the honor of God, he defeated Goliath.
David wasn’t concerned about appearing successful. David wasn’t even be concerned about being successful. He wanted God to be known. I need to learn from David. I spend too much time focusing on my reputation. I want those who I care about deeply to be proud of me. But this life isn’t about me, it is about God. I should be like David that my actions should declare to the world that “there is a God…” (1 Samuel 17:46)
Because only when our lives declare to the world that our God is great and mighty are we really successful. We miss opportunities to be used by God when our focus is ourselves.
Lord, help me today to glorify you with my life so that others might know that you are alive and real.
If this has challenge you, please share it.