Society seems quick to call people out, but what about calling people forth? Calling people out is all negative and says, “I think what you’re doing is wrong and I’m going to put a bullseye on you so people can start shooting at you; me first.” Calling people forth is all positive and says, “I know you; you’re better than that; that’s not who you are, this is who you are.” Calling people forth calls them into the goodness and greatness that they are meant to be. The purpose of calling people out is destruction; the purpose of calling people forth is destiny.
Let me tell you a 3,000-year-old story that gives an example of someone calling another person into their destiny.
David, the little guy that stoned Goliath, had an encounter with a woman who called him forth, rather than calling him out. David was hiding from the jealous King Saul who didn’t like it that David had more pop songs written about him than were written about Saul. Seriously, I’m not making that up; David had cooler songs written about him and Saul didn’t like it.
While hiding in the wilderness, David attracted quite a following of people who were kind of Robin Hood like in protecting people. However, David had all these mouths to feed so he sent a text to a guy named Nabal who owned a LOT of sheep and cattle, whom the writer, Samuel, called “churlish and evil.” David and his guys protected many of those animals, as well as Nabal’s workers, from marauders and rustlers. David wanted to know if Nabal could spare a few to feed his men.
Nabal texted a reply with a laughing emoji and all caps, as if he were yelling: “NO! LOL”
David was furious and decided to go exact revenge on the ingrate. However, the guy’s wife, Abigail – who was apparently drop-dead gorgeous – found out about it and met David halfway. The resulting conversation is fascinating, and you can look it up in I Samuel 25, but I’ll paraphrase.
Abigail: Hi, I’m Nabal’s wife and I hear you and your men are coming to lay some smack down on him and our people. I’ve brought some food and we need to talk.
David: Yes, the ungrateful cur. We’ve been protecting his flocks, for free, and all we asked for was a couple of sheep I can feed the guys and he refuses? I’ll make him pay!
Abigail: I agree, he is an ungrateful cur. I have to live with him, and I don’t like him either, but, David, this is not who you are. You don’t fight battles because you’re trying to get revenge; you fight battles to protect people. You’re the kind of person that fights on God’s side to protect the innocent from the bullies. That’s who you are.
David: Okay, I’ll let him live. Have any more of that food? That’s really good stuff!
Abigail returns to tell her husband what had happened and, when he realized how close he came to being killed, he has a heart attack and dies ten days later.
Abigail didn’t call David out; she called him forth.
I understand David because I’m married to a drop deal gorgeous woman, Christine, who has called me forth on numerous occasions.
There are some takeaways from that I am trying to practice more:
- Identify the positive aspects in a person and build upon them
- Articulate to that person what I see about them that they might not see themselves
- If they are consumed with all the negative, have the courage to remind them, “that’s not who you are; this is who you are.”
- Make the person’s destiny, not their destruction, the reason for my approach.