Time Out: A man after God’s own heart (David)

Topic / Time Out

Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)

Who can figure God out? First, He says His people need to be holy and set apart from sin. Then He says that a man who was an adultery, murderer and admittedly poor father is a man after His own heart? So which is it? How can both be true? Yet they are, aren’t they. David is called a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). Yet David’s sins are apparent, and they aren’t minor.

Perhaps we should ask just what it means to be a man after God’s heart, for that is something for which we all should aspire. Obviously we’re not talking about sinless perfection. Paul seems to come the closest to this in the New Testament, and clearly wasn’t sinless, either – before or after salvation. So what does it mean to be a person after God’s own heart.

I think it means having a heart the same as God’s. Therefore having our desires, our motives, our goals, our values and our priorities line up with God’s. It means loving what He loves, hating what He hates, and looking at life as He looks at life. It is having His biblical world view of things in our minds and His love or righteousness and hate of sin in our hearts. You may see it differently, but I’ll stick with that definition because, in effect, it means being like Jesus. That is God’s ultimate goal for all of us – to be more Christ-like.

So can we be a man or woman who is after God’s own heart but still sin? Of course. John clearly reminds us that we won’t stop sinning (I John 1:8, 10) and Paul experienced this in his life as well (Romans 7). That means that you and I can be after God’s own heart. After all, a heart is internal, so its not external actions God is most concerned about. Just being like God externally is hypocrisy and we know how God feels about that. But if my heart beats with His heart, for the things His heart beats for, then I am after God’s own heart.

Oh what a wonderful goal in life, what a worthy dream to follow, to have a heart like God. That should be the desire of each and every one of us. What could be better than to have the mind of Christ and the heart of God?

1 Samuel 13:14, “But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

Acts 13:22, “After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'”

1 Peter 3:3-4, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

1 Corinthians 2:16, “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”


  • In what ways have you seen your values and goals line up with God’s in the years since you became a Christian?
  • Where do you struggle most with being Christ like in thoughts and actions? What can you do about it today?
  • Spend some time in worship thanking God that you can become more like Him and for His perfect, wonderful character to emulate.

Jerry SchmoyerJerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!

Posted on April 26, 2009

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