Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Running toward Goliath

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Running toward Goliath

Article excerpt

It's a compelling biblical image - a young shepherd, with no protective armor or battle experience, sprinting toward a giant, fully-armed warrior (see I Sam. 17). The story of David and Goliath, with its small-guy-versus-big-guy theme and underdog heroism, offers inspiration to anyone feeling powerless or scared.

Being pitted against an overwhelming foe isn't a scenario most people welcome. While David's example may have continuing relevance for today's heroes - like those who resolutely resist government corruption, gang violence, school bullies, and social inequality - choosing to stand against an intimidating opponent might seem like more of a stretch for the rest of us. Actually, though, courage is available to each of us when circumstances seem beyond our control.

Real courage comes from God, who guarantees His goodness to be the only force and fabric of life, and who ensures that evil has no substance, influence, or power over us. Pondering these spiritual facts brings confidence that whatever the size of the challenge before us, we have resources - spiritual resources - to meet it. The Apostle Paul describes this mental dominion: "Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Cor. 10:3- 5).

Our "Goliaths" may be circumstances like ill health, unemployment, broken relationships, dwindling resources, limits of all kinds. And like the Israelites' immense adversary, they may seem insurmountable. But no matter how menacing the situation, victory flows from the mental activity of "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" - of affirming the presence and power of God, who is good, and refuting the actuality of evil.

A micro-example of David's experience happened to me when I faced a dishonest salesman. …

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