In todayís society people often present the benefits of being
popular and being respected as diametrically opposed. Popular thinking
would also have us believe that morality must be sacrificed completely
in order for people in the world to like us. Although it is certainly true
that darkness hates light, it does not follow that Godís people are therefore
totally unlikable! First Samuel 18:5 provides a wonderful example
for us when the inspired writer records, ďAnd David went out whithersoever
Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men
of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in
the sight of Saulís servants.Ē At this time Saul had already decided that
David was a threat, and his plans to keep David from becoming king were
well known to David as well as many other people. However, the most important
point to learn is not from the attitude that Saul displayed but from the
attitude exhibited by David toward Saul.
David did not let the attitude that dominated Saulís life
change the way that he knew he ought to behave toward him. All too often
we react quite differently when we are presented with similar situations.
Saulís actions were plainly wrong, but this did not justify a change in
Davidís behavior. David showed himself to be wise in his behavior
because he did not let the actions of others cause him to be unfaithful
to God. When we lash out without thinking or let our emotions control our
lives-instead of controlling our emotions as we should, we have left Godís
plan for our lives out of the picture. David behaved himself in such a
way as to convince the people around him, including those who were under
Saulís direction, that he was not at fault. Many times we may make the
mistake of assuming that people are going to believe the best of us regardless
of our behavior. This cannot be further from the truth. We ought to follow
Davidís example and live in a way that will demonstrate to people that
we are not at fault and that we want to please God in spite of the circumstances.
David was under great stress, yet the Holy Spirit inspired
the writer to record this statement concerning him. We should learn from
David that our lives are open to the scrutiny of all and that only by living
righteously will people ever learn the truth. Do not leave room for questions
about your life. Answer them by living a Christian life that is an open
book to the world. David was persecuted, but remained faithful to his ruler.
David was slandered, but he did not lash out. Davidís life was put into
question, but the people believed what they saw instead of what they heard.
The problem many are having today with such actions has come about because
they are well aware that what people have seen will confirm the report
instead of showing its error. Be prepared. Some people will believe the
worst about others no matter what. But let us live our lives so that we
can withstand any attack and so that God will be glorified (Galatians 2:20;
1 Peter 2:21-25).