I gently tapped the keys on my laptop.
The tiny black letters popped up in neat rows across my screen:
“Hello everyone! For those of you who are interested, I am starting a blog called Growing Something Beautiful…. “
Little twelve-year-old me had labored over how I would phrase that short email. The email that would declare that I had started my very own blog.
I pressed the send button despite the fears growing in my mind. There was no going back, and I was already picturing the first assumptions that people would make as they opened that email.
What if they can’t see my heart and I just look judgmental and fake?
What if I make a mistake, and then it’s out there for the world to see?
What if no one even cares?!
I had been so excited to use my love of words to serve God, but that passion started withering away when the time came to actually share what I wrote.
I think all of us can relate to this desire to conceal elements of the stirring within us because we fear the potential words and opinions of the people around us.
And even though we will always have people in our lives who support our enthusiasm, sometimes all it takes is a few discouraging words, or one person’s lack of support to throw us into the rough sea of doubt and people-pleasing.
Not even David, a man after God’s own heart could avoid having people (even those close to him) try to squelch the passion he had for God!
In 2 Samuel 6:12-23 we are told that David gathered hundreds of people together in a procession that would bring the Ark of the Covenant to the City of David.
As the people were walking alongside the Ark, they were singing, dancing, and joyfully praising God.
Even King David was so deeply focused on the glory of God that he traded out his royal garments for a linen ephod, and danced before the Lord “with all his might” (2 Samuel 6:14).
But as the joyful procession came into the city, David’s wife “saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart”, thinking that the clothing he wore made the king look undignified and foolish.
You see, putting on the linen ephod (something similar to what the priests wore), was a public act of humility. But although David’s wife thought that it was inappropriate for the king to humble himself, David recognized that God was the only One worthy of being exalted in this procession. So David laid aside the clothes that made himself look like a king, so that he could worship God to the best of his ability, and focus all the attention on the Lord.
When his wife confronted him about it, he didn’t let her disdain choke out his passion. Instead he understood that he had to please God alone; Even if that meant humbling himself and bearing the disapproval of other people.
David’s story is a reminder that:
one : We should strive to glorify God in whatever we do. Whether that’s by praising Him in worship, the way we live, or even the thoughts we allow ourselves to dwell on. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
two : The way we view ourselves should be in proportion to Who God is, and the honor He deserves. We should never decrease the glory that we give to God in an attempt to salvage fleeting honor from other people. (John 3:30)
three : God’s opinion of us is the only opinion with lasting worth. And when we are faithful and focused on God despite our surrounding circumstances, we will find favor with Him. (Take a look at the story of Noah in Genesis 6. Specifically verses 5-9).
Look at the contrast between my story and David’s. I was distracted by what people would potentially think of me, while David’s only priority was to use his passion to honor God to the fullest.
And no, my way of thinking didn’t do me much good… In fact, my first effort at blogging didn’t last.
I was distracted.
I was overwhelmed.
Eventually I quit, declaring that I would never blog again (although it’s funny how God works that way, huh? 😉 ).
At the time, I didn’t understand why I was struggling, but looking back I think it’s because I was too worried about other people’s opinions, and I wasn’t worried enough about glorifying and obeying God. It was my skewed focus that drowned out my original excitement to serve God.
Now, I don’t know where you’re at or what stirrings you might be fighting to keep alive. And I don’t know the specific discouragements tugging your attention away from your target.
Maybe you’re just starting to dive into this whole “faith” thing for yourself.
Maybe you don’t know how to respond to that gentle nudging God is giving you.
Maybe you followed God’s leading, but now you feel surrounded by pressure and doubt.
But in all of our unique situations, let’s aspire to be like David!
Let’s turn away from those voices of discouragement and fix our gaze fully on Jesus! Because like David, when our focus is steadfast on the One Who deserves our glory, and not distracted by how we will be regarded by others, we can victoriously resist giving in to the things that will suppress our stirring and hinder us from glorifying the Lord!