One of the readings from my daily prayers today was about David, King of Israel. In the reading, David was in front of the Ark and dancing before it. He was dancing vigorously. Very vigorously. With all his might. In his underwear. His dancing was so intense that at least one of his onlookers actually hated him for it.
Here are a few quotes from the reading, 2 Samuel 6:1-23:
“David danced whirling round before the Lord with all his might, wearing a linen loincloth round him.
… Michal the daughter of Saul was watching from the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.
As David was coming back to bless his household Michal, the daughter of Saul, went out to meet him. ‘What a fine reputation the king of Israel has won himself today,’ she said ‘displaying himself under the eyes of his servant-maids, as any buffoon might display himself.’ David answered Michal, ‘I was dancing for the Lord, not for them. As the Lord lives, who chose me in preference to your father and his whole House to make me leader of Israel, the Lord’s people, I shall dance before the Lord and demean myself even more. In your eyes I may be base, but by the maids you speak of I shall be held in honor.’”
It says that Michal “despised” David. That is a pretty strong emotion! She hated him because he was acting from his heart and not following the rules of etiquette that were expected from royalty. David was being authentic. Synonyms for the word “authentic” include: genuine, real, bona fide, true.
So what does this mean for us writers and other creative people?
- When we are authentic some people will hate us for it. Perhaps even some people who are close to us. Take the risk. Act from your heart and be authentic anyway.
- When we are authentic some people will love us for it. Those are your fans. Don’t forget to love them back.
- When we are authentic, we should go all in, just like David did, whirling around in his underwear! Okay, keep your clothes on, but commit to whatever it is that you are doing, just like David did and keep going. David was totally committed.
We know that David lived a far from perfect life, but because he was authentic, God nevertheless considered him “a man after his own heart.” God loved David deeply for his authenticity; his truthfulness; his realness.
Being an authentic writer or other creative carries risks, but it also opens up opportunities for rewards. So act from your heart and do the unexpected. Even if the reward for your authenticity is “only” a reciprocal love between you and your fans, it is worth it.