1 Samuel 21:1-9, 1 Samuel 22:6-23
I have the tendency to be a perfectionist. I have grown quite a bit and it doesn’t rear its ugly head too often; however, every now and then I see it rising up in me. During those times, I can be so hard on myself when I make a mistake that I believe I berate myself more than the people around me. I don’t know why I do that to myself because when others make mistakes, it may be annoying to me but I don’t think less of them. I forgive them much quicker than I forgive myself. On the flip side, I love doing a job well done. It is very satisfying to see all the pieces put in place and see a project run smoothly because of hard work. It feels great to do good work. Today I want to look at someone who felt they had done a job thoroughly and went above and beyond the call of duty. Please turn to 1 Samuel 21:1-9.
In this section of scripture, David is fleeing Saul because he found out through Jonathan that Saul intended to kill him. David turned to the priest at Nob to seek aid but kept his reason for aid a secret. The priest helped him, but please look at verse 7, “Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the LORD; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s head shepherd.” That is an important fact before we read the rest of the story; please turn to 1 Samuel 22:6-23. In verse 9, we see that Doeg betrayed Ahimelech by telling Saul that he provided David aid; however, he failed to tell Saul that Ahimelech did not know that David was fleeing Saul. That was a problem because that was important information, so Saul believed that Ahimelech was siding with David and ordered to have all the priests in Nob killed. No one would do it except Doeg. Doeg did more than kill 85 priests; he killed the whole town of Nob – the men, women, children, and infants. Doeg had done his job and did it thoroughly and completely.
Please turn to Psalm 52:1 to see David’s response; he wrote this Psalm immediately after these events. Apparently, Doeg was boasting of what he had done. David asked the question, “Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man?” I think we need to be careful not to confuse a job well done and goodness. We can be very good at something but it still may not be a good thing to do. In the music industry, there have been many performers that can perform better than anyone else during their time, but they are not necessarily doing good. Accomplishment is not goodness and it is important not to mix the two. Since we have identified who is good and what God says is good, we need to measure against those and not measure against a job well done. I’m not saying not to do your best, I am saying to do your best in what God says is good.
Are you confusing accomplishment for goodness? Are you pouring your energy into what God says is good?