It seemed a lopsided battle. On one side, a small shepherd with a sling and five stones. On the other, a heavily armored ten-foot giant whose taunts and challenges immobilized an army of seasoned warriors.
The story of David and Goliath has become an almost universal underdog story; but in reality, Goliath never stood a chance.
In “Giant Killers,” emotional intelligence speaker, consultant, and author Steve Lawson identifies the five vital emotional and social skills David possessed: identity, discipline, graciousness, action, and hope. When combined with the power of God’s grace, these strengths made it possible for David to defeat Goliath, build a mighty army out of social rejects, and establish the greatest kingdom in the history of Israel.
We all face giants in our lives, if not as literally as David did. But like David, we can overcome any challenge, seizing with confidence the opportunities God places in our path. “Giant Killers” teaches you how to do so, providing a foundation on which you can build success after success. It all begins with you-and your willingness to trust in God’s grace.
Meanwhile, Back in Camp …
Before we get into the character qualities David displayed, let’s take a closer look at the mess that he walked into. David had quite a lot to overcome before he ever ran across the valley to face Goliath. There is much to learn from David’s interactions on the mountainside that set the stage for us to become giant killers.
Who Is Writing the Rules?
Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites. “Why are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!” When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken. (1 Samuel 17:8–11 NLT)
I’ve heard this story for over forty years, but something struck me recently. When I read Goliath’s challenge, I thought, So what? Just because he stood out in the valley and issued it, didn’t mean Israel had to accept it. Why not position a couple of men in the trees with sniper rifles … pow! Challenge denied! Okay, okay, I know they didn’t have sniper rifles, but what about crossbows? What about sending out the archers and launching several thousand arrows until one struck home? I understand that a challenge of the best warrior was part of their culture, but did they have to obey it? Why did Goliath get to make up the rules?
Too often we let our giants write the rules. “I can’t do that. I’m not qualified.” Really? Says who? “I don’t have enough education, training, skills, talents, gifts, etc.” Fear tells us we will fail. Insecurity tells us we aren’t good enough. The crisis tells us it will debilitate us. Tragedy tells us it will ruin us. The list goes on.
What if instead of seeing obstacles as blockages to our moving forward, we simply saw them as information? “I don’t have enough education.” If it’s not true, then ignore it. If it is true, then it’s good to know. Now you know what to do in order to move ahead. Go to school, read a book, take a seminar—but don’t let it stop you. Let it motivate you to take the next step to move forward.
I have a friend serving as a missionary in a semi-closed country. For the past seven years, he has had nothing but problems. But he is so committed to the call God has placed on him that he just keeps pushing forward. One recent example is when he and his wife were moving to a new city. The movers came and packed up everything they had, then they moved it out of their fifteenth-floor apartment and loaded it into the truck. When this friend came downstairs with the final pieces, they changed the price on him. When he refused, they simply hauled everything back upstairs and dumped it into his living room … after trying to steal his refrigerator. If that wasn’t bad enough, the next two moving companies did the same thing! Finally, he found a moving company that honored their word, and after a week-and-a-half delay, they finally moved into their new place.
Most people I know would have simply given up—especially after several years of similar incidences. They probably would have spiritualized it with, “Well, God just closed the door.” My friend doesn’t operate that way. He and his wife spend a tremendous amount of time in prayer until they are sure of God’s direction. Then if a “door” closes, he just kicks it in! My friend is a giant killer, and he seems to have to take one out at least once a week.
Don’t let your giants write the rules.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:4–6 NLT)
About Steve Lawson
A former small-business owner and church planter, Steve Lawson recently stepped down as the senior pastor of Grace Community Church in Greenville, Texas, to focus on his writing, speaking, and leadership training activities.
He holds a doctor of strategic leadership degree from Regent University, a master of divinity degree from The King’s University, an MBA from Amberton University, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Texas.
Lawson owns Leadership Transformation Inc., providing emotional intelligence training and consulting to organizations of all sizes. More information on his consulting services is available at http://www.leadershiptransformation.net. An avid blogger and writer, Lawson is available for speaking engagements in churches, seminars, and conferences. You can contact him at http://www.stevelawson.us.
He and his wife, Karen, live in Greenville, Texas. They are the parents of three grown daughters.
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