When the young boy David said that he could kill the enormous man Goliath, some religious people may have thought he was being arrogant, even prideful. His brothers did. Saul did at first. After all, could a small boy who wasn’t even in the army kill a seasoned veteran that was bigger than any of the Israelite soldiers? None of the Israelites dared challenge him.
David’s brothers were jealous of him. They remembered how Samuel had chosen and anointed their brother instead of them to be the next King of Israel. They were literally rejected by Samuel. When David showed up at the battle to serve his brothers, his oldest brother Eliab asked him where he had left the few sheep he was tending. Few sheep? He took care of a whole flock - the livelihood of his father Jesse! It was no little task. It was one that took all the brothers before they left for war. When someone is jealous of you, they always make what you are doing look small and insignificant. His brother also said to him, “I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is” (1 Samuel 17:28).
This just can’t be true. Was David arrogant? Was he prideful and full of himself? Let’s see. He was anointed and chosen by the Prophet Samuel to be the next king. King Saul was looking for someone who played the harp well. Out of everyone in the kingdom, young David was chosen. He must have played an awesome harp. One of Saul’s servants said about David, “He knows how to play the harp, he brave and a warrior, he speaks well and is very handsome, and the Lord is with Him.” (1 Samuel 16:18). This young man had a lot going for him.
His brothers probably had heard the story he would soon tell to King Saul about the time he killed a lion and a bear. It would be easy for someone who wasn’t close to the Lord to be jealous of such a talented, handsome, man of God. He could play a mean harp and toss a rock with supreme accuracy. Later on, Saul would be jealous of Him and his ability, turn on him, and try to kill him. Even Goliath despised him for his good looks and boldness as he looked him over.
Here’s the point: if God has called and gifted you for His purposes, don’t give up doing what you are doing because someone is jealous of you. Usually, those doing what the Lord requires meet opposition. Make sure your heart isn’t full of pride or conceit because of the talent you possess.
I’m thinking of a particular young person in our church with extreme talent. They also possess good looks. Don’t try and guess who it is, you will most likely be wrong. They serve the Lord and I hear them talk about Him often. There is no doubt the Lord has chosen them to do some great things. When this person displays their talents and gifts, many are blessed. I have heard some people make jealous statements and call this person prideful and arrogant. Really? Just because David displayed his great harp abilities, great battle skills, was promoted fast through the ranks to armor bearer of the King, lived in the palace with Saul, and was anointed to be the next King of Israel doesn’t mean his brother was right when he said he was conceited. Just because he listed his qualifications of being able to kill the bear and the lion by himself doesn’t mean he was arrogant. He was using his God-given abilities and talent for the Lord. After all, no one else in the army had stepped up - not even the King. David’s brother had jealousy and contempt in his heart. Sin. David kept following the Lord and kept getting promoted. We never hear of his brother getting promoted or using their talents for the Lord.
Why did King Saul let this boy go into a man’s battle? Because David lived with and served Him. Saul knew him. Saul had seen that God’s anointing was on his life. It would be irresponsible of Saul as King to let someone get killed - especially a boy. David’s consistent witness of God’s greatness in his life assured Saul that victory would be certain.
God’s people must promote the people God promotes. We must pray for them, disciple them one on one, and help them - not keep making claims that they are arrogant and prideful. If those making those statements know how to overcome pride and arrogance so well, then why aren’t they discipling the “conceited person” one on one and helping them grow in the Lord. Why? Because those who don’t help someone overcome a hint of pride and arrogance but just merely talk about it are more guilty of a greater pride and arrogance. Everyone who is very talented and uses it for the Lord must deal with pride. It will come up and they will be tempted to give into it. Pride can be a giant in itself.
If God has chosen and anointed you to do His will, do it. If you have talent and ability, especially great talent and ability, use it for the Lord. Don’t let the naysayers keep you from doing God’s purpose. Make sure you have a heart like David - fear the Lord. Keep yourself humble. But humility and hiding God-given talent don’t go hand in hand. Play your harp. Sling your rocks. Slay those giants and bears. Do it for the Lord. When you’ve done it for the Lord, don’t have a “I told you so” attitude toward those who said negative things against you. Only praise the Lord and let Him promote you. Don’t do it yourself. You will have naysayers. Jesus did. They said, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?” (Matthew 13:55). Be sure to give God credit like David did.