“Yeah, it’s all put on. He can act like that around older Christians, but when he’s with us, he’s no different than the rest of the gang. In fact, he’s often the ring-leader. So – the guy you see is not quite the same as the one we know. I don’t want to put him down, so I’ll stop there.”

And the red flags go up.  Two different lifestyles.

Have you ever wondered what your friends would say about you if they were speaking to an older person about your character and ability?  David was still only a young man when one of his peers gave him an outstanding commendation or as we might call it today – a letter of reference. And it wasn’t for a babysitting job at the local nursery.

King Saul was battling dark, sinister thoughts. His advisors scrambled to find some soothing music that would lift him out of his dark ornery mood. Music for a King. Piano might be too much. Percussion and drums might exacerbate his mood. The harmonica might be irritating. The king may not enjoy Christian Contemporary music or Southern Gospel for that matter. Fiddles, recorders and piccolos and accordions were probably also ruled out. Actually, a harpist would fit the bill nicely. Soft, relaxing and soothing – just what the king needed.

One of the young men who worked for the King knew about David and here’s the recommendation he gave to the King:

One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him.” 1Samuel 16:18

You can’t get a much better reference than that! And, it is particularly significant that it comes from one of David’s peers. Another young man. Read between the lines and here’s what David’s peer is saying:

“This guy is not only absolutely awesome on the harp – he’ll tackle anything and prove that he’s made of good stuff. I think he would make an excellent soldier too; he’s brave and courageous. But he is very balanced. He is wise in all matters. He’s not a loose cannon. He thinks things through and is trustworthy. He’s not ugly to look at either – your daughters would be quite impressed!  Really, the only way I can sum it up is: His underlying strength and credibility come from the fact that the Lord Jehovah is with Him.  I am one of his peers and it is just so obvious that the Lord is the priority in his life.”

What would my peers say about me?  Would they conclude their remarks about me by saying – “and the Lord is with Him!”  or would they snicker and whisper: “He’s good around you guys but wow, does he ever have another side to him!”

David was a well-balanced young person. Sometimes a person can turn a corner spiritually and appear to grow leaps and bounds spiritually. They are reading and studying their Bible. They seem to have a very active prayer life – but some essential ingredients are missing: humility and wisdom.

We can become proud of our progress and become judgmental in our attitude towards our peers. Rather than encouraging peers spiritually, we can turn them off with our holier-than-thou attitude. David was progressing spiritually but rather than being an annoying reminder of spiritual conditions, he was a role model for his peers to respect and admire.

May the Lord help us to live our lives in such a way that our peers will say: “…the Lord is with him.”

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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