One exercise Tedd Tripp suggests in the Parent’s Handbook for Shepherding a Child’s Heart is “to collect the attitudes of the heart that the Bible uses to describe things that motivate behavior.” This can also include stories in the Scripture that illustrate character qualities both positively and negatively. I want to call it My Heart Collection.🙂
Here is the first in hopefully a long collection I can study…
Who do you dance for?
“Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might” – 2 Samuel 6:14 (NIV)
Among all bible characters, King David is the first person I would think of when the topic is about the “heart”. In 1 Samuel 16:7, God told Samuel that “people look at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart“. God was pertaining to how Samuel was sizing up the potential king of Israel based solely on “outward appearance”. Apparently, God is already eyeing a boy and He is looking at his heart. It was David’s.
What is it about David’s heart that God liked? David is far from perfect. I’m sure the God who knows the past & the future knew that this David would eventually commit heinous crimes of murder and adultery without a bat of an eye. But there was something in David’s heart that God was very pleased about. He even calls the guy “a man after His own heart” (see 1 Samuel 13:14).
It will take a big book to look at the reasons why (my favorite David book is the one by Beth Moore, A Heart like His). I will only mention one for now.
David’s heart was a heart bent on pleasing God no matter what. His passion was directed towards just one purpose — to praise God, to thank Him, to celebrate for Him and with Him. He told Michal his wife in 2 Samuel 6:20-22 that he doesn’t even care looking undignified or humiliating if that is what it takes to give thanks to God.
The resulting behavior: Lack of fear of man. He wasn’t a people pleaser. He valued only what God thought; never mind if people thought he was crazy. The only opinion that mattered was God’s.
My prayer: Lord, if there is one thing I pray that I can instill in my children is to have a heart that only wants to please you. If only they would have that, then I will never fear once they are out there in the world by themselves. Help me set an example by changing me too. In Jesus’ name I pray.