Today's passage: I Samuel 19
David could not have been a more faithful servant to his king. In times of peace, he played his harp for Saul. In times of war, he went out to battle the Philistines. Everything he was asked to do, he did. Whatever Saul asked of him, he answered. What more could David have done?
Is there such a thing as being too good? Is there such a thing as being too perfect? I hear that all the time. Girls don't want to date a certain guy because he's too nice. Guys don't want to hang out with certain girls because they are too perfect. Huh? It's a good thing our natures will have changed before we get to Heaven, because that place is going to be too perfect. Do you know what I think? Well, I'm going to tell you anyway. When people make those comments, they are really saying that good is boring. Nice is uninteresting. Perfect is safe. Our sin natures still want to put us in contact with everything that is not good, nice or perfect. When an actually good TV show makes it to broadcast and has morals, it doesn't last a season. Reviewers say, "It's too sugary sweet." What's wrong with that? When a movie with a principaled storyline makes it to the theater, critics pan the actors, saying they are not believable because their characters are not flawed, they are too perfect. Shouldn't we strive for that? David did. I am not teaching sinless perfection here. None of us will ever reach a perfect state, no matter what someone teaches. But shouldn't we strive to be as perfect as possible? Shouldn't we confess any sin we know about, and seek to rid it from our lives? Shouldn't we commit more to God, and less to the world? Shouldn't we attempt to shelter ourselves from ungodly habits and choices?
David would have been too perfect for most women today. He was handsome, he was kind, he was courageous, he was musical, he was athletic. Girls would swoon for all that. He was godly. Well, scratch him off the list. See that last characteristic, that makes him boring now. That last characteristic should be the first thing we seek in someone. Not only in our mate for life, but in our friends. We should want to hang out with people who love God. I was blessed to have some godly friends as a teenager. And I can tell you, our times together were never boring. We didn't always talk about God everywhere we went (although there would have been nothing wrong with that) but when we went places and did things together, we didn't have to be concerned about who would need the car keys to drive home, who would bring the change of clothes so Mom and Dad wouldn't smell the marijuana on our clothes, who would look old enough not to be ID'd at the liquor store. We didn't wonder about which one of us might need a phone call the next day to make it to school because of our hangover the night before, or who was going to need a cover story so we could spend the night with our boyfriend. Trust me, I knew plenty of people (and had many school friends) who did those things for fun. Was it really fun? I can't see it. My friends and I had great times, and guilt free. If good is boring, we were bored all the time, and didn't know it.
David was a nice guy. He loved God. He had a godly friend in Jonathan. He wanted to serve the Lord. Saul hated him for all this, by the way. He was willing to deprive his son of his best friend, and make his daughter a widow, because he was jealous of all that David had accomplished in his young life. He saw the choices that David made, the choices to do right, and it angered him. Saul always seemed to make the wrong choice. This evil spirit would drop on him and completely alter his mood and behavior, and he hated being controlled by that spirit. But he stopped allowing himself to be controlled by the Holy Spirit so there was plenty of room for demons. Today, as a Christian, I cannot be controlled by an evil spirit. I can yield to it's temptations, but it can't control me. After salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside me, and He will not make room for any other spirits. I can choose to ignore Him, but He will never leave. Those in the Old Testament did not have the luxury of having God's Spirit with them always, He would dwell in an open heart for a period of time, but not permanently. David's heart was open. If his life seemed too perfect, read a few more chapters.
I am far from perfect, but it is what I strive for every day. I try to engage in things that will help me grow in the Lord. I waited for a man who not only claimed to love Christ, but showed it. Don't just believe what a man says, watch his life. He will tell you nearly anything, if he thinks he can somehow win you. And just because he goes to church (even faithfully, because if his parents make him, as they should, it doesn't mean he wants to be there) doesn't mean he loves God. David's love for God was obvious. He never had to be told to do things for Him, he did them out of his love for God. Rewards and blessings follow when we are doing things for Him. The saying goes, "Nice guys finish last." What I have found, is that nice guys finish the race while all the others have been waylaid with their vices. Nice guys don't finish last. They finish. And I want to finish my race with some nice guys and gals going with me.