High Performance Habits & First Samuel

Hi friend,

Lately I’ve been reading a lot to meet my 2017 reading goals by the end of the year. I’ve been listening to audiobooks, visiting the library on the reg, and incorporating Bible time in my mornings. I can’t help but notice when I read things in the secular world that echo truths of the Bible and this morning I wanted to share a little snippet of Brendon Burchard’s analysis of “high performers” and a bit of King David’s story.

In the introduction, Brendon makes this observation about these hard-working go-getters he calls high performers:

High performers are admired: Their peers look up to them, even though the high performers are outperforming them. Why? Because to become a high performer, ego takes a backseat to service. High performers have mastered the art of influencing others in such a way that others feel respected, valued, and appreciated…

Does this sound like someone you know? Maybe a boss, friend, or professor who is involved in many different activities but somehow always has time to listen—and listen well— when you need to process out loud? As I was contemplating these words (on page 18 of his book; will the whole thing be this rich?), I was struck by the beginning of David’s “career,” when he becomes part of King Saul’s court (read: squad, tribe, fam). The holy scriptures say,

And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants. (1 Samuel 18:5)

And David had success in all his undertakings, for the LORD was with him…but all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them. (1 Samuel 18:14, 16)

…and as often as [the Philistines] came out David had more success than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was highly esteemed. (1 Samuel 18:30b)

The people loved him. Not once is it recorded that one of the “men of war,” a commander, a general, or anyone was upset or embittered by the rise to power of this gentle, poor, humble shepherd. My theory? There is something about following God wholeheartedly and holistically that makes you a better person, and therefore a better-liked person (to an extent).

I want to be careful that I’m not grabbing square pieces of the world and shoving it into round holes because of my worldview, but I do honestly believe that truth comes from God, so when I read secular wisdom I often search for patterns that are already established by the Ultimate Source of wisdom. So much of the world, so much of people, so much of life points back to principles, lessons, and acts of love that were written thousands of years ago.

David’s ascension illustrates, for me, that when you do the Lord’s will, when your actions are righteous, the Lord will be with you. And when the Lord is with you, people can see it. When the Lord is with you, it’s undeniable, even, and possibly especially, to those who haven’t seen the Lord. David is not even the first Biblical hero with this kind of success-despite-struggles story. Consider with me the similar early life of Joseph:

So Joseph found favor in [the sight of Potiphar] and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate. (Genesis 39:4-6)

The name of God, the marks of Christ, the seal of the Spirit, these are identifiers Christians bear that change the way we work, the way we speak, the way we…achieve. I don’t think it’s a stretch here to say that David and Joseph are OG models of high performers and I think their success is due to their reliance on God. I am certainly not saying that all high performers are of God, but you will be hard pressed to find a higher source of purpose, passion, and truth than the Lord my God.

So, can I prove without a shadow of a doubt that King David was one of Burchard’s high performers? No, and that’s not what I’m seeking to do. I’m simply having fun fact-checking an infinitesimal granule of Burchard’s wonderful book against the absolute and enveloping truth of the Bible and  coloring the mental images of David’s ancient life with the hunch that he was one of those rare high performers.

Copy of Est. 2012

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