It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

10 July 2011

FAMILY affects Identity – Part 5

12:01 AM Posted by steve flores No comments
When David got to the battlefield with his brothers lunch, he witnessed Goliath for the first time.  Goliath was bad-mouthing the army and that army was fearful of him.  David couldn’t believe what he was witnessing!  David spoke up, “Who does that dude think he is?!  He can’t talk to God’s people that way!  How much will I get if I kill him?” 

When David’s older brother overheard him, he got angry.  Rather than pull David aside and correct him or talk with him, he tried to embarrass him.  1 Samuel 17: 28-30, Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness?”  And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?”  And he turned away from him toward another.

Eliab reminded David that he takes care of sheep and goats.  That’s not a bad thing, because people made a decent living being a shepherd, but Eliab was trying to embarrass David in front of his military buddies.  It would be like you hanging out with your older brother’s friends and he gets tired of it.  Your older brother might say, “It’s getting kinda late.  It’s time for you to go home, because you’re going to miss an episode of Dora the Explorer!”  What Eliab did, what your older brother might do is prove to everyone else that you don’t belong.

That’s discouraging and if you hear that enough times, especially from your family, you might start believing it.  It might affect your identity in a negative way.  You might feel second best, like giving up, insignificant, or even useless.  And it’s unfortunate that your family could make you feel this way, but it happens.  I hate that; I really do.  But the good news, you don’t have to let it discourage you.  Family can be rough.  Often times the people who say they love us can hurt us most.  And depending on how deep the hurt or how long they’ve hurt us, it can negatively affect our identity.  But, allow David’s story to be one of hope.  No matter how wrong your family has treated you, God ultimately shapes your identity.  David didn’t allow his family to negatively define him.  I think he learned to embrace the thought of being underestimated.  The less potential others saw in him, the more he wanted God to prove them wrong.

Notice what David did when his brother tried to embarrass him.  Verse 30, “And he turned away from him toward another.”  David ignored it.  David realized his brother wasn’t being helpful, so he quickly moved on.  And it was when David moved on, that other people listened, not ridiculed him, and reported what he said to Saul.  The words David spoke earned him a meeting with the king.  Thank God, he didn’t allow his older brother to silence him. 

Galatians 6:9, So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.”  I believe there are moments when quitting is essential to reaching God’s best.  And, I believe there are moments when we should keep going.  David practiced both—he quit listening to his older brother and kept speaking.  The key is knowing when to do both…or neither.