There is a great statement floating around the internet that says,
“You don’t have to show up for every argument you are invited to.”
That’s a truth I needed to hear right now. There is another wise saying, “You have to learn to pick your battles.” It is like one of those things your grandma used to say – and I’m learning the lessons as I navigate which battles to fight and which battles to leave alone.
I have been learning a few lessons on facing giants and picking battles.
There is this book I read about giants by Malcolm Gladwell called, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.” It is not a very good book. His writing is interesting enough and there are some good stories sprinkled throughout, but overall it is not something that I would pick up again or even recommend. But even the not so great writings can leave us with something.
This book left me with a better understanding of the giants in my life.
I have stood toe to toe with some awful, foul smelling, deceitful giants in my days. This book helped me to see that Giants are not always what they seem.
“Giants are not what we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness.” (Gladwell)
The things we think make a person great, a giant – can actually be the source of their greatest weakness.
The Biblical Goliath that colossal man we learned about in Sunday School might possibly have had a disorder that made him the way that he was. The disorder that made him big and physically intimidating, also gave him a number of weaknesses.
Goliath had a certain way of fighting (the only way he could fight which included needing a shield bearer) and he may not have been able to see all that well. So a young shepherd boy who was used to combating lions and bears to protect his flock had a unique style of fighting that threw Goliath off his game.
David was the best possible person for the job of fighting a narrow-minded, blinded giant.
- Because he wasn’t a soldier trained to fight one way.
- Because he was swift.
- Because he came without heavy armor or sword.
- Because he was deadly with a sling.
He was the right one to combat the blubbering fool.
All the things we might think as being a liability for such a young man – made him an unstoppable force against a mighty giant. Not to mention he knew the God who was with him.
When You are Facing Giants
Which makes me think about all the giants I’ve had to face and am facing.
It makes me step back and look at the bigger picture in regards to my weaknesses and liabilities.
Perhaps all along I have been the right one for the giants I’ve been facing.
Perhaps my “style of combat” is not a liability – or too much – or wrong.
Perhaps all the things that the world tells me is not good enough – when standing toe to toe with giants these are the things that I need to be able to defeat the giants I am going to face.
- The giants of injustice.
- The giants of abuse.
- The giants of neglect.
- The giants of spiritual oppression.
- The giants of lies and deceit.
- The giants of generational pain.
- The giants of church/denominational history – oozing with hiding from truth, shaming victims, and protecting abusive perpetrators.
Perhaps the perceived weaknesses of those around me are what make all of us fierce and brave and able right in the battles we are facing.
Your weakness is not a liability – it may be exactly what you need to face the giants you will encounter in your life. Weakness is part of your battle gear.
Maybe the most GOD HONORING choice I can make is to allow those around me to combat and navigate exactly the way in which they have been created, crafted, and grown to be. Without fearing for them. Without navigating it for them. Without speaking up on their behalf.
Sometimes silence really is the best cure for the raging maniacs around us.
Sometimes silence and refusing to engage is the best answer to a battle you have no intention of fighting.
Some battles have an ending – that leads to peace. And some battles will never end – there can be no peace. There is no good outcome. There is only letting it be. Only the wise can know which battle they are currently facing.
You really do not have to show up for every argument you are invited to.
And sometimes you can and should speak up even when someone is going to be angry with you.
And it is always a good idea to remove your children from harmful toxic battlefields they are not equipped to navigate even if those battlefields are family or a specific church.
And it is a good idea to remove yourself from those places to.
You do not have to enter every battle placed in front of you.
You don’t have to enter every argument you are invited to…
But if you have to – you are more than equipped to battle the giants placed in front of you.
Giants aren’t always what they seem.