Warrior, raider, destroyer, adulterer, murderer; king, psalmist, musician, worshiper, and the one man who God said, “I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do” (Acts 13:22). King David suited up in armor before leading men into battle, and just as easily donned the priestly linen robe and ephod, leaping and twirling in abandoned joy as he led Israel in bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem.
How odd that David could play both roles so well; was he an extremist? Was he personality disordered? Sometimes that is what I have to ask myself in the midst of my own battles (advocating for others or defending my position). A flash flood of words uprooting once secure relationships; sarcasm and Socratic questioning meant to bring the necessary conclusion that an opposing position is indefensible. The means is not tempered by awareness of any higher authority.
I felt kind of sorry for the blind guy that Jesus healed (John 9:24-41), for he stands before the Sanhedrin (the legal arm of the priestly judges) and boldly answers their questions with his own, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes!” Not surprising, the priests responded with indignant anger and cast him out. (That doesn’t just mean that they shoved him out of the door of the synagogue; they meant to excommunicate him from his God and the Jewish community.)
How often do we find ourselves in a battle, standing in the middle of the enemy with foot in mouth?
I cannot decide which I would rather do. I could go along with the problems, keep silent, and pretend that I am not bothered by what I see. After all, demonstrating my passion is often misunderstood as judgmental, demanding, or vilifying. Is it my tone of voice? Do I speak too bluntly? Are my sentiments unkind or blaming?
What is so strange, when I reflect on what created an unsafe environment for communication, is that I truly believe that what I said or did was necessary to bring about positive change in others, in a situation, and/or in a system. It makes me want to dance and sing when I feel that I am in God’s will.
Imagine my surprise and disappointment when others judged me to be harsh or foolish or out of touch. Their response is like Michal who, when seeing King David dancing in the streets and worshiping God, “despised him in her heart,” (I Chronicles 15:29).
Yet, we see King David living a passionate existence, joyful in the Lord, and deadly in carrying out the Lord’s will. I wish to live like that, relying on the Holy Spirit to convict me of sin, direct me into battle, and remain with me through all my mistakes and markers of growth. Split personality, maybe, but this sword wielder and dancer is relying on Jesus Christ.