As a kid, King David was my favorite person in the Bible. I heard the story of how he faced a giant when everyone else was afraid. I heard how courageous he was when he fought in battles. I learned that he had one of the greatest friendships in the Bible. He was presented to me as a model person. After all, he was a man after God’s own heart. With all these stories and Bible lessons, I had built up quite the person in my head. He was pretty much the closest thing to a superhero in the Bible.
As I grew older, I learned more about David. I read about his indiscretion with Bathsheba. I found out that he was a murderer. And when I read the Psalms, I see a man who has great faith one minute and great doubt the next. I read about the warrior who isn’t afraid of anything and then hear the same man whine as he hides in a cave. The superhero image took a hit. I found out that he wasn’t perfect. He wasn’t the person I had made him out yo be in my mind. Yet I can’t escape that he was still called a an after God’s own heart.
Many times, we build up people in our mind and place them on superhero status. We think they’re perfect because that’s all we see of them. Sometimes it’s people in the Bible that we see this way. Other times it can be a pastor, evangelist, a church leader or a friend. The truth is that no one is perfect. Each person has shortcomings and fail. We are all a lot like David. We possess the ability to slay giants, but we also struggle with our fears and doubts. We climb mountain tops one day and wallow in the valley the next.
What I’ve learned to see in David, in others and in myself is that God doesn’t expect me to be perfect in order to be a person after His heart. He doesn’t need us to slay giants or conquer enemies to be considered great. What I find over and over again in David’s writings is that after every time he failed, doubted or was scared, he went back to God, apologized and reaffirmed his faith. Psalm 51 is one of the greatest Psalms to me. It’s a prayer for forgiveness and restoration. David shows just how human he was as he wrote it. He also revealed why he was a man after God’s heart.
We can’t get caught up in thinking there are perfect people in the world or that living as close to perfect as possible equals spiritual greatness. We all look at the outward showing of people, but only God sees the heart. David was no where near perfect as I’ve come to read, but he was one of the most spiritual people who ever lived. It’s not in our outward showing that makes us spiritual, it’s in our ability to run to God when we have failed, when we have sinned or have great doubts. Don’t compare your spirituality with someone else’s. You can’t see what God sees. Instead, focus on keeping your heart right with Him no matter what life throws at you.