"Do Your Own Thing"
"Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity."
E. H. Chapin
What does it mean to, "do your own thing?"
Have I ever "done my own thing"?
How did things turn out when I did what I wanted without thought to any of the consequences that my behavior could have on others?
"Would to God we had behaved ourselves well in this world, even for one day."
Thomas Á Kempis
"Our actions disclose what goes on within us, just as its fruit makes known a tree otherwise unknown to us."
Thalassios the Libyan
When I was young, there was a rather popular phrase, frequently used to counter the established "mores" of society. It was - "Do Your Own Thing!" And it meant that those who truly considered themselves free of the binding bonds of parents, teachers, pastors and anyone else in society who hindered their "free spirit," could do and act as they pleased. As far as consequences went, why worry or even consider such a problem? Do your own thing with anyone and anything you wanted - period!
The problem was, and still is, that there are results and consequences for actions, whether I want there to be or believe there will be. If you don't think what I just said is truthful, then you had better stop reading about David and Bathsheba right now for this story is a life-lesson on the consequences that happen when we choose to do our own thing.
As we examine II Samuel 11: 3, we find there were five people mentioned who were immediately involved in this messy situation, and whose lives were touched by David's desire to do his own thing.
First, David was involved. He was the source of the scheme to get information about Bathsheba. Second, the sent "one" was someone who was instructed to acquire information and then bring it back to David. This person knew about David's behavior. Third, there was Bathsheba, who was the person being inquired about. Fourth, there was her father, Eliam and finally, her husband, Uriah.
So when David decided to do his own thing, initially we find there were at least five people involved. And to give a little more power to the point I'm trying to make, the Bible tells us that Eliam, Bathsheba's father, was the son of Ahithophel (Bathsheba's grandpa) and Ahithophel was a "counselor" to David. There's more. In
I Chronicles 11: 41, Uriah, Bathsheba's husband is specifically identified as one of the, "valiant men of the armies" (I Chronicles 11: 26). David's behavior, his actions when he made the decision to do his own thing, involved one of David's respected counselor's granddaughter who was married to one of David's valiant warriors. Don't get me wrong, if Bathsheba had been a nobody from nowhere, David's actions would have been just as wrong but what makes his behavior worse is that David felt so invincible he chose to act with such little concern as he trampled upon the hearts of his counselor and one of his most valiant soldiers.
Several years ago, Jim and I had a friend, someone we thought we knew, who was caught in illegal behavior. This person ended up in prison for a long time. As you can imagine, everyone who thought they knew this individual was taken off guard. In handing down the sentence, the judge in the trial observed that what made this event much more concerning was that with all the support and blessings this person had in their life, they still chose to get involved in illegal behavior. The same applies to David and is the reason behind the harvest he reaped.
David might have thought he was doing his own thing and that as king he could weasel his way out of any consequences that developed. How wrong he was!
As the poet John Donne wrote in Meditation XVII, "No man is an island, entire of itself." These words apply to upright behavior as well as behavior which leads others astray.
It has been said that it is our behavior that is the mirror where everyone shows their image - and the picture in David's mirror carried a reflection that resulted in tragic consequence for his own life, the life of his family and children and the nation he led. All because one individual decided there was no problem "doing their own thing."
"If you want to be respected for your actions, then your behaviour must be above reproach."
"O Lord God, destroy and root out whatever the adversary plants in me, that with my sins destroyed You may sow understanding and good work in my mouth and heart; so that in act and in truth I may serve only You and know how to fulfill the commandments of Christ and to seek Yourself. Give me love, give me chastity, give me faith, give me all things which You know belong to the profit of my soul. O Lord, work good in me, and provide me with what You know that I need."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.