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Rise and Fall of Responsibility

Monday, 12th October 2009

Taking charge of your life, and not blaming, shaming, and rationalizing others, is one of the principles that some of the greatest kings and queens that ever ruled learned quickly and applied efficiently. The interesting thing that history teaches is that when royalty did accept responsibility for their actions, things tended to work better for them than when they looked for an escape door.

A classic example of this principle is King David who ruled ancient Israel from 1010-970 BC. His ability to take on responsibility was revealed early in his life, such as the famous story of how he became appointed king. He was from the tribe of Judah. David was a young shepherd boy who worked in the fields tending to his flock, and was the eighth child and youngest son of Jesse. When the prophet Samuel came to visit, all of David’s other brothers attended to the feast, but David stayed true to his responsibility and continued to mind the flock. Samuel eventually sought David from the field and anointed young David to be king.

What would you do if you were anointed king? I doubt many of us would do what David did. His attention immediately went back to attending to his current responsibility, the sheep. He continued to work the sheep until the day he was summoned by his father to visit his brother’s at a camp for soldiers. While there, he heard Goliath, a Philistine, jeer at the army of Israel.

Most of us grew up hearing the story of David bravely taking on Goliath with a sling slot—killing the giant with one flick of a sling, thus freeing Israel.

Although David was a mere boy at the time of this incident, he was already the anointed king of Israel, and it was his duty to protect the people of Israel.

Another part of his duty and the responsibility of his forth coming position was to become educated in the affairs of running a kingdom. David again rose to task when he was summoned by Saul, the current king, to join the court and play music, when beckoned.

He continued to honor his responsibility as future king by fighting to protect his people in war. He was an exceptionally powerful warrior, claiming many victories, including successfully reclaiming the city of Jerusalem by forcing the Philistines out of the country.

There are many praiseworthy qualities about King David who had a bright future laid out before him. But he became snagged by blaming and rationalizing in his personal life, which many people believe led to his eventual downfall.

King David became involved with another man’s wife, and when the woman involved became pregnant, instead of taking responsibility for his actions, King David tried to hide them by having the woman’s husband sent to the front of the battlefield where he would surely be killed.

Many believed this caused a myriad of tragedies in his life, including his son Absolom trying to kill him to usurp the throne. And his son Amnon raping David’s daughter Tamar. David also suffered early death of his children and huge amounts of shame. Many scholars attribute the Book of Psalms to King David, saying he wrote them as penitence as he suffered under the weight of his actions.

How do we avoid a downfall like King David?

2 Comments to 'Rise and Fall of Responsibility'

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  1. […] How many of us are like that … do something stupid, something that we know deep down inside we shouldn’t do, do it anyway, get hurt, then look around for someone else to blame? […]

    Thu 2nd August, 2012 at 2:57 pm
  2. […] Responsibility for Your Life—Know What Can Change and What […]

    Thu 2nd August, 2012 at 2:59 pm

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