Most of us have resumes which highlight our experiences, accolades and our characteristics. For the most part its almost an acceptable venue where we get to boast about ourselves, right?
Would someone reading our resume see qualities such as humility? accountability? courage?
How about integrity?
Lets start with a quick flyby of the story of David…specifically the confrontation with Goliath.
In 1 Samuel, we read the awesome account of the confrontation of David and Goliath. The scene unfolds where David is asked by his father to bring some food down to the battle at Ephes-Dammin, which literally means “edge of blood.” At this point in the story, Goliath has been relentlessly taunting the army of Israel for thirty-nine straight days, simply beating them down through intimidation and fear. David walks into the scene on the fortieth day as Goliath continues to curse and intimidate the army of Israel. This shepherd boy looks back at one of the soldiers and says, “Who does this guy think he is and what do I get for shutting this fool up?” David stands before this giant enemy of Israel, picks up five stones and with divine line of sight, sends a stone deep into the head of Goliath sending him to his death on the ground.
Cool stuff,right? But lets back up a bit before this.
The current king of the land was King Saul and God’s favor on him was waning. God started the job search for a new king and had specific characteristics He was looking for on someone’s resume. One of those characteristics He was looking for was integrity.
Lets dissect this a bit.
When David was a young man and he was shuffled off to tend to the family’s sheep. Not really a job given to kings. David’s brothers were far more honored and noble in their reputation which found them on the front lines being taunted by Goliath. Goliath knew they were shaking with fear and that they lacked the integrity to follow through on their values.
David shows up to deliver some food and becomes part of this epic story. His brothers don’t step up, king Saul doesn’t step up, no one wants to face Goliath. So David steps in and basically says, “I’ll take care of it!”
David shares his resume with king Saul in 1 Samuel 17:34-37. “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
David is telling king Saul that he’s done this before when no one was watching for no other reason that he was entrusted with the care of the family’s flock of sheep. This was the very moment that David prepared for when no one was watching for a moment that everyone will see.
David’s resume contains all the stuff that he did when no one was looking, not the stuff he tried to make other people see about himself. Can you say that about your resume? I can’t.
What David did in the shadows prepared him for what he would do in public. Right before this we see that God send Samuel the priest to the house of Jesse to look for the next king of Israel. Jesse has all of his sons paraded in front of Samuel for the job position of the future king. In 1 Samuel 16:6-12 we see that job interview.
So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!”
Two things that really stand out here for me. Jesse paraded all his of sons except for David and check out what the Lord said, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” ….WOW!!!
We all have have that desire to be chosen for something, don’t we? We learn here that God never chooses by accomplishment or external appearance, but He looks at the heart!
God knew He could trust David with people, because He could trust him with sheep. If David would risk his life on a lion or a bear for a sheep, what more would he do for people? the LORD would later say of David, in Psalm 78:70-72: He also chose David His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the ewes that had young He brought him, to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
The characteristic and qualification that God looks for on this quest for honor is person whose heart is pure towards Him and towards others. When you begin to take on the virtue of integrity, you find an unexpected courage that shapes your life. With this courage all turbulence of life cannot crush you or your dreams. Your integrity becomes your armor!
Here is a quick test. Would others say you are the same person at home as you are at work? What happens when you’re around people who bring out the worst in you…are you the same? When life hits hard does your personality change? Are you more “me” or “I” focused than “others” focused?
Integrity is the foundation that enables us to become our authentic selves, to be true to ourselves.
Would integrity be found on your resume?
Adapted from: Erwin McManus. (2006). Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul. Thomas Nelson.
Image credit:Max Lucado. (2008). Facing Your Giants, Retrieved October 28, 2013, from: Amazon.com