READ: 2 Samuel 4-5, Psalm 92, Matthew 3 , Colossians 3
Count Zinzendorf said: “I have one passion, and it is Him and only Him.” When Jesus is our consuming passion, our dignity becomes less important to us, and we even might dance through the streets in our underwear.
David’s exuberant rejoicing in Jesus is all the more remarkable because of his status. Kings are poised, calm, rational, balanced, controlled, and measured. David was – when needed – all of those things, but all the dignity of office took second place to the one ruling passion of David’s life – intimate union with God. If the goal is the respect of our observers, we act (proclaim, missionize) dignified. If the goal is the enjoyment of God and eternally exalting Him, we abandon dignity.
It was before the Lord. David’s wife Michal was unimpressed with his exuberant worship. She was born in the purple, used to the palace, sure of the bounds of propriety. She knew that kings act differently than the people. Michal knew that a king must act in such a way that the people are pleased. David knew nothing of the sort. Pleasing people was the furthest thing from his mind (which in part makes a great leader). David just wanted to rejoice in God and whatever he did was not for Michal, not for the people, not for the servant girls that Michal was so afraid of – it was only for God. Those who fear the Lord the most fear the people the least.
I will be more undignified than this. There are no dignity limits for the worshiper; there is only obedience and intimacy. David was committed to an ongoing pursuit of his one passion: God himself. His rejoicing in God was not a one-off performance for show, neither was it an emotional reaction that made him blush upon reflection. David’s undignified reveling in Jesus was the norm and he was committed to super-exalting Jesus everywhere, always, no matter what anyone else thought. The point is deity, not dignity. If we are not overwhelmed, we have not really been in God’s unmitigated presence.
I will be humble in my own sight. The man or woman who has no reputation to protect is the most free. What a luxury it is to not care what people think of us. “Praise and blame equally are nothing to him who is dead and buried with Christ,” Father Macarius said. When we don’t take ourselves too seriously, we have the most latitude in life and service. We are equally happy to be lauded or derided — both fall on deaf ears. We are equally pleased to wash toilets or lead kingdoms — both are an inconsequential joy.
If loss of dignity is the price we pay for more intimacy with Jesus, so be it; the loss is gain.