Who’s watching Who?

I’m reading in Second Samuel, but I want to make an observation about 1st Samuel…

And while doing so, I want to show you how the Holy Spirit uses the word to bring attention to problems in my own life.

Here is the passage that caught my attention…

“But something happened when the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed Goliath. Women came out from all the towns along the way to celebrate and to cheer for King Saul, and they sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals… “Saul has killed his thousands and David his ten thousands!” This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?”he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” So, from that time on, Saul kept a jealous eye on David.

At this point in the story, we already know that Saul has a problem with obedience. He wants to be the boss, rather than God. But Saul has another issue too.

Most would simply call this problem jealousy. After all, the English even uses that term.

But there is more than meets the eye.

What precipitates the event? Isn’t it that Saul is focused on what others think? He’s concerned about the praise of others, about acknowledging his success in the war against the Philistines, about getting credit for what he’s done.

The jealousy is the result, yes. But the problem begins when Saul worries about what others think, when in truth he has only one person to please.

Me too.

I spend WAY too much time worrying about this stupid issue. I hear my brain process questions about what others think — all the time, “Are they watching? What do they think? Did they like my speech? Do I look good enough? What will I wear? What will they think of me if I say that?”

My focus gets dragged off in the wrong direction all the time. I sympathize with Saul. But I know that this one battle of the mind must be won if I will ever succeed in pleasing my God.

He is the one I must please. Not the audience. Not the publisher. Not the reviewer. Not my friends. Not my pastor.

If I can wrap my mind around this one fact, I think I can be free of all kinds of vices. Jealousy. Envy. Embarrassment. Self-consciousness. Anxiety.

If I could grab this one thought, I could gain a great deal of peace…

I must please only the one who made me.

Saul missed it. I struggle with it. Do you?

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