Glory hog. Credit-seeker. Spotlight-grabber. Brown-noser. Whatever you call them, we all know the type. They overstate the value of their work or take a little creative license in describing their contribution to a group effort. The political landscape of our “allies” is littered with those people.

Worse, though, is the class of people who loudly seek credit for something they didn’t do. We find a lot of them inhabiting public office.

When the truth emerges, as it always does, people roll their eyes. At worst, their propensity for fabrications cost them an election.

But they should know that it could be worse.

Consider the fate of the unnamed Amalekite that we meet in the first chapter of the Old Testament book of 2 Samuel. This fellow must have thought he was a genius.

Let me back up. The last chapter in 1 Samuel describes how King Saul was in a fierce battle. All three of his sons were killed by the Philistines. Not wanting to be captured and humiliated by his enemies, Saul ordered his servant to kill him. The man refused, so Saul fell on his own sword.

A few days later, a young Amalekite wandered into the camp of David. He brought with him two things: Saul’s crown and a story. You have to know, like this young man knew, that Saul had made David an enemy of the state. Saul knew that David should be the king, but—since Saul was the king—he wasn’t eager to give up the throne.

So, the young man told David that he had killed Saul—out of mercy, to protect the king from being disgraced by the Philistines. And, as a bonus, he preserved the crown for David.

The man no doubt expected to be patted on the back. He was probably certain that David would appreciate the man who so kindly dispatched Saul and thus vacated the throne.

Instead, David ordered the man’s execution on the spot. David hadn’t sought power, and he didn’t want it on dishonorable terms.

The man wanted credit for something he had not done and received the punishment as if he had. As someone craving the approval of others, the man had mistaken David’s divine appointment with royalty for a craven desire for power.

Just as it did 3,000 years ago, governing power draws egomaniacs and sycophants. Today, it is our responsibility to weed both out of public office.

As sovereign citizens in this self-governing Republic, we must be on guard against those seeking the accolades of public office and instead promote those willing to serve the interests of the people.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."