A commercial comes on with a man standing in various places of prestige. He is talking to large crowds, in a business meeting with important executives, and making deals that require large financial backing.
He says, “Do you ever wish you had more influence? Do you want more respect from your coworkers, or from those in the same field as you? For $19.95 you can receive my book...”
You get the picture?! To be honest, I would have bought any book he was selling a few years ago! I was not quite in my 30’s, wishing I was. For some reason I thought that the magic number 30, would bring with it influence, position, and authority. I now realize I was wrong on all accounts. And yes, there are great books out there about how to gain influence where you are. *I will share a few of my favorites at the end of this article.
None of the advice I received could measure what one simple passage taught me out of scripture though.
1 Samuel 18:5 “So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved wisely.”
We can gain so much by simply behaving wisely in our everyday lives.
I’m sure we could add to the list, but you get the idea. Look at the next portion of this passage.
“And 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.”
I am not talking about behavior modification here. I am saying that we cannot discredit the practical life advice that passages like these give us. You don’t have to look far to see how much influence you could gain by simply following the advice throughout Proverbs and what we would call the wisdom Psalms. For David, it set him over men and gave him the respect of all the people. God wants His people to have great influence to make change for His kingdom. How does this happen? How do we behave wisely? Let’s continue in this passage.
“So David played music with his hand, as at other times; but there was a spear in Saul’s hand.”
What is in your hand? What talent and gifting do you have? God has given each of us a unique skill set. Behaving wisely is simply using these things correctly.
This isn’t about the music and spear. I have seen my share of talented and gifted musicians use their music to tear down and destroy. On the same note, I have seen many “spears” used to protect.
The question to ask every single day is this, “What am I doing with what is in my hand?”
God help us to behave wisely in all our decisions and with all the people we encounter!
A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge by Clay Scroggins
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
There are plenty more, but these are some of my favorites. Feel free to list your favorites in the comment section. Also, if you are not subscribed to Craig Groeschel’s Leadership Podcast, do yourself a favor and subscribe now. He gives one of the best 20 min podcasts on leadership, once a month.