Godly character is something that all devoted Christ followers pursue and desire to be deepened in on a daily basis. It is essentially who we are. It’s our makeup of our vision, values, conviction, beliefs and the list goes on. In the world of missions, Godly character is of utmost importance. Everyday, missionaries are seeking to build trust in relationships, establish their reputation in a new setting and attempt to advance the Gospel in the community they are living in. The character of the missionary is what is going to give them influence and allow them to have any type of “staying power” in their place of ministry.
One of the most noteworthy people with Godly character in the Bible is King David. David had impeccable character. While he wasn’t perfect, he was consistently honorable and faithful. Before he was known as King David or David the Giant Slayer, before his name is even mentioned, attention is drawn to his heart and character. God told the prophet Samuel that he was seeking out a man after his own heart to be the next king of Israel.
God chose David to do incredible, fearless acts as a warrior and a king because of the faithful dedication David had to Him in private. After all, character is not made by perfection, it’s made by dedication. We see this in David’s youth where he spent most of his days in the fields working as a shepherd. While this can be a pretty demanding job at times, there are also several hours a day that just consist of sitting around watching sheep. In the moments David could have taken a quick nap or daydreamed (sure those happened as well), he instead was practicing his harp, singing songs to the Lord or practicing with his sling. It was those moments of intentionality that prepared him for some of the most important moments of his life. It were those moments that were truly shaping David’s character, not only for then, but for the larger moments later in life.
Davids character was on full display in his fight with Goliath. The amount of accuracy it took to kill Goliath with one shot, or to kill the lions or the bears, would have taken hours of monotonous practice and repetition. I like to imagine David posted up several yards away from a tree stump he may have used as target practice, with a pouch of smooth stones, carefully perfecting his shot. Practicing the right way over and over again, which is how we all develop that spiritual muscle of Godly character.
As a musician and songwriter myself, I know the frustrations one can have while learning scales and chords, let alone writing your own song. I have spent hours playing the same two chords over and over waiting for a melody or lyrics to appear. I also like to imagine David in a similar position that I’ve been in many times, sitting on some rock or in a field somewhere contemplating the phrasing of a line or the timing of a melody. Through the practice and repetition of doing the right things and pursuing a Holy God, a greater character was developed in me.
It takes a lot of work to get good at things and it takes motivation and inspiration to do the work. In all things, the Lord was David’s motivation. He strived to do well in everything he put his hands to, so the Lord honored his character and faithfulness and as a result, made him fearless. This fearlessness served David incredibly well as he ruled over Israel.
In the end, we see that even in David’s darkest and bleakest moments, he eventually reached deeped and showed Godly Character. Yes, even after adultery and murder, David did not give up. He did not stop believing. When Nathan the prophet came to him, David’s response was deep repentance and sorrowful prayer. David had blown it. He had blown it in the greatest of ways, but David did not quit. He didn’t throw in the towel. That’s because in David’s heart was character. Character that David valued even after awful choices and their repercussions.
You and I will always “blow it” in life. We will always make mistakes, as David did. But like David, we can choose to carry on and to have good character. Keep asking for forgiveness. Keep striving for deeper holiness. Keep seeking truth over lies, and we be a generation that has character like David. Men and women after God’s own heart!
By: Aidan Herring