Everyone Has Something
To obey is better than sacrifice . . .I Samuel 15:22
When my addiction came to light, it was painful . . . but liberating. I could finally talk about it without worrying if everyone knew, because everyone knew. Previously, I felt that I was the only struggling Christian, but as I opened up about my life, others opened up about theirs and I realized that everyone has something.
When I was addicted, I used my good behavior to balance out my bad behavior in my conscience. I was an emergency room physician after all. In my mind, I was doing more good work in one night that most people did in a month. My addiction was just a little sin, which I thought God should overlook.
This seems to be similar to Saul’s mindset in today’s passage. God had commanded Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites, but he spared their king and kept the best of their livestock. When confronted by the prophet Samuel about it, Saul’s excuse was that he had mostly obeyed. I mostly did what God wanted. I spared the king and a few sheep. So what?
Saul thought he could disobey just a little, because for the most part, he followed God. It seems to be in this little area though, where God was most profoundly interested in Saul’s obedience.
It is the same with us. We live pretty well in most areas of life. We obey most traffic laws and we don’t steal or murder. This is just how we normally live and probably would live even if we did not follow God. We cannot really claim radical obedience by doing what we would just normally do.
It is those areas in which we struggle with obedience to God that He seems most interested. This is the realm that shows whether we follow God or ourselves, in our addictions to food, drugs, pornography, money, work, resentment, anger or pride. We may think these are just small areas of our lives, but these are the areas that Samuel was referring to when he insisted that obedience is better than sacrifice.
We all have something. God is profoundly interested in our obedience in that something.