“David said to Michal, ‘It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.’”2 Samuel 6:21-22
One of the fondest memories I have of my childhood is my eighth birthday party. It was at my house, and my friends and I made our own homemade pizzas, jumped on the trampoline, and played soccer. When I was opening presents I got to the last present and realized my parents didn’t get me anything. Nothing! When they saw the look on my face they instructed us all to go outside to the driveway where they revealed a brand-new basketball goal. We played for hours and hours until it finally got so dark we couldn’t see the rim.
What I remember most about the party wasn’t necessarily what we did or the gifts I received. I remember every single friend and family member who attended because they cared enough about me to show up to celebrate my birthday.
I don’t know if you enjoy celebrating milestones and successes as much as my family, but one thing is certain: Scripture tells us that we are to celebrate and to celebrate as a church family. That’s right! Our lives as Christians were never meant to be dull or boring. Multiple times in Scripture we are commanded to rejoice, sing, dance, and play instruments as we celebrate God and the life He’s given us.
One of the greatest events that caused for celebration under King David’s reign was when the ark of God was to be brought to Jerusalem. The Bible says that in the eyes of some David made a fool of himself publicly dancing, shouting, and singing to the Lord. He caused so much of a scene in the streets of the city that his wife decided she hated him for it. What was David’s response? 2 Samuel 6:21-22 says, “And I will celebrate before the Lord. I will make myself yet more undignified than this.” David essentially told his wife that he will bring even more embarrassment on himself if it means God will be praised in the process.
If you don’t consider yourself a dancer, singer, or musician like King David, that’s okay. In his book Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster recommends four other ways to celebrate the life God’s given us. He suggests practicing laughter, exercising our artistic abilities and gifts of imagination, celebrating successes and milestones like graduations and birthdays, as well as really celebrating major holidays and culture festivals like Christmas and Easter.
The next time you hesitate to celebrate what God’s done in your life, ask yourself this question: “Am I afraid of embarrassing God or myself?” One thing is absolutely certain: David didn’t care what other people thought. The celebration is a gift from God that allows us to focus our minds and hearts on what’s really important. A life of celebration is a life of thanksgiving.