“And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people…And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people being ashamed steal away when they flee in battle.” 2 Sam. 19:2-3
David’s soldiers had won a great victory for him and saved his life; yet, instead of showering them with gratitude and praise, he ignored them—even shamed them, because he could only see that one of the fallen enemy was his rebellious son, Absalom, who plotted the overthrow of his own father.
Does it seem to you that victory has lost some of its shine in today’s world, becoming a criticism instead of a compliment? Granted, no one likes a braggart, but there is nothing attractive about false humility, either. We have become suspicious of excellence; though, perhaps, jealous would be a more accurate adjective.
Oddly enough, I see the same mind-set in Christianity today. Just check your local Christian bookseller and you’ll see the books that sell the most are the ones about people who were either gross sinners or miserable failures. The man or woman who may not have been perfect, but who consistently lived for God over many years has little to inspire the average Christian audience. Perhaps the old saying, “Misery loves company” is true; but it’s probably also true that misery makes for poor company.
I understand that none of us should be placed on a pedestal to tower over the rest of us, and someone who experiences our own shortcomings and failures may be more sympathetic to us. But sometimes sympathy is not enough, and someone our spiritual equal is not always the best person to advise us. If we’re all encouraged to flaunt our failures (yes, flaunt), at the expense of our victories in order to relate to the greatest number of people, we are downplaying the work of God in our own individual lives.
You and I, as believers, should never be so anxious to relate to other believers that we downplay victories God has given to us personally. Credibility with Him is always more important than credibility with anyone else. Besides, anyone fixated on our failures may not be looking for help, but, rather, vindication for their own. Victory is nothing to be ashamed of. Remember, when we blush at victory, we’re ashamed of the One who gives it.
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 15:57