What about David?

I did work out, but for very short periods of time last night and this morning. I did some reps till I shook both this morning and last night, but I only got a few minutes in each session. Probably 20-25 total. It seems that staying up late watching public TV and then sleeping in does not make for a good workout routine.

I think that when you only have a goal of losing 8 lbs, it’s probably not useful to weigh yourself daily. I’ll weigh myself next week to see if I’ve made any progress.

…..

I just finished 2 Kings and just don’t know what to know about King David. I am sure the author/editor was focusing on highlights from a person’s life because of limited time or space. But the overwhelming emphasis on other’s mistakes gives the whole narrative a holier-than-thou tone that I really dislike. I am not sure where using someone’s mistakes to teach others crosses the line to breaching confidences.

I did, however, find myself really liking David. The parts of the story that seemed to be direct quotes really gave me the sense that he was a humble, good man. He seemed totally willing to throw himself upon the Lord’s mercies, even when he’s done wrong. When I’m the bad guy, I get defensive and indignant, but generally David is willing to submit to the Lord’s punishments. It’s clear he was also a natural leader whose ability to sincerely communicate with others resulted in the unification of Israel. How would I summarize the life of someone like David? How do you teach that someone’s behavior is both worthy of emulation and reprehensible?

I watched a biography of Benjamin Franklin the other day that made me feel much the same way. Franklin was a great statesman, inventor, and sage. It turns out that his dedication to his family was definitely not steadfast. Most of his public accomplishments I had heard before, but his personal debacles are usually kept private. Unlike David, the Bible’s adultery poster child, Ben’s memory has been glorified to hero status and his naughtiness ignored. Which biographical picture is accurate?

The truth is, if someone were to write my biography hitting just the highlights, it would probably read much like either of these men’s. Some good accomplishments, a couple of kids, and plenty of bad tempered naughtiness. Really, every person’s bio-in-brief would be just the same, because we’re all people. Sinners. Only our accomplishments and trials vary. Saints.

But what I’m wondering about is, how do you decide what to tell about someone else (or yourself)? In the church we spend all of our time trying to make people better than they are or were. We ignore their faults, sometimes causing members to become disillusioned when they learn that church people are still people. The fact is, each of us does great and terrible things. Are we helping or harming ourselves by emphasizing the good and ignoring the bad? Must we know negative characteristics to fully love others?

I seem to prefer heroes to humans. I was disappointed to find out that Ben wasn’t as great at family life as he was at statesmanship. The thing I thought I’d dislike about my calling is knowing so much about people. In practice though, I find myself loving people despite their weaknesses. Sometimes I love them more because of those weaknesses. Knowing what others have achieved despite desperate circumstances, or understanding why a person behaves the way they do, changes your perspective.

Is that why the marriage relationship is so important and necessary for exaltation? I wonder if that’s the only relationship where we can *truly* know someone. In a marriage you see people at their best and worst in a way that can’t be known by the public or even close friends. Hopefully once you can conquer yourself and love a saint-sinner, a spouse, you are that much closer to God.

So none of my questions are answered by this rambling post. I’m left still wondering what is inappropriate to reveal and what is inappropriate to conceal. Who David is the authentic David: saint or sinner?

…who is the authentic ME?