BEHAVE YOURSELF Andy Hollifield 11-1-18
1 Samuel 8:14 And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him.
I used to hate to hear that every time I went anywhere. It was good advice because I knew that if I didn’t, word would get back to dad and I would have to give an account of myself. It wasn’t that I was wanting to misbehave, at least not most of the time, because I had been raised better. I was raised to respect everyone until they gave me a reason not to, and especially my parents. I don’t think I have ever called mom or dad by their first name in conversation in my whole life. I have said their name when asked but never in addressing them. I know a lot of folks don’t think that is a big deal but I always have. They are still mom and dad to me.
I have written before about reverencing the house of God and how we wasn’t allowed to play in the sanctuary or be loud but had to go outside in the church yard. I am not wanting to talk about all of that again but I want to look at the benefits from God by behaving yourself wisely, not just in church but in all aspects of your life.
One of the first things I want to mention is, if you ever want to lead, learn how to follow. The scripture for that is found in 1 Samuel 18:5 “And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants”. That may not seem like a big thing but it was the fact that he followed orders and went where he was sent and behaved himself wisely that got him set over the army. One key aspect of behaving is being humble. David humbled himself to Saul even though he had already been anointed as King by Samuel as a young boy in chapter 16. He could have probably misbehaved because he was the king’s servant but he didn’t take liberty in that position. He gained favor in the eyes of the people and servants because of his behavior.
1 Samuel 18:14 says that due to David’s behavior in everything he done, God was with him. If we want God’s blessings on our life all the time, we have to behave all the time. We have seen that his behavior got him accepted by others but now we see that it also gets him the presence of God in his life. If we don’t have the presence of God in our day-to-day life like we should, it might be because we aren’t behaving like we should.
In verse 15 we find out that if we behave ourselves wisely, our enemies will become fearful of us. Not so much because of us but because they can see that the Lord is with us and blessing our lives. To be honest with you, I have seen the time when I wasn’t behaving like I should. In those times I was afraid of Christians that I knew were walking pleasing to the Lord. I’ve even seen the time that I was afraid to shake their hand, and especially the preacher’s hand, after church because I had so much conviction that I was afraid they could tell by a handshake that I was misbehaving. I even remember once in my early ministry, when a young man and his girlfriend couldn’t get out of the church quick enough after I preached. I knew they had been misbehaving and it showed all over their faces.
In verse 30 it says “Then the princes of the Philistines went forth: and it came to pass, after they went forth, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul; so that his name was much set by”. That means that he even had a good name among his enemies because of the way he behaved himself. Proverbs 22:1 tells us that “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver or gold”. A good name don’t just happen but it is by the choices that we make. Ecclesiastes 7:1 says, “A good name is better than precious ointment…”.
These four times that David’s behavior is mentioned aren’t in random order but in a progressive order. He first gains favor with those around him when he is humble and obedient. He then gains favor and the presence of God when he behaves in all his ways. In verse 15 he strikes fear in the hearts of his enemies because he behaves very wisely. The last one in verse 30, he gains a good name and the respect of his enemies because he behaves better than anyone around him. He gained all of that favor just because he behaved himself regardless of where he was or who was looking. I have heard it said that character is what you are when no one is looking. I believe that at this time David was a man of impeccable character. We can have the same favor, not by our gifts or talents, but simply by behaving ourselves wisely, and very wisely, and more wisely than everyone else. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!