The Ancient Art of Trash Talking

Some say that trash-talking originated with the boxing legend Muhammad Ali in the 1960s and 70s. You’ve probably heard some of his rants are a few examples:

“I’m the greatest, I’m a bad man, and I’m pretty!”

“Superman don’t need no seat belt.”

“It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.”

“I’ll beat him so bad he’ll need a shoehorn to put his hat on.”

But in reading 1 Samuel 17 today I noticed that Goliath and a young David had better trash-talking than the current greats Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett. As David approached the giant Philistine wearing no armor and carrying only his shepherd’s staff in one hand and a sling in the other, the verbal sparring goes like this:

41 As the Philistine paced back and forth, his shield bearer in front of him, he noticed David.42 He took one look down on him and sneered-a mere youngster, apple-cheeked and peach-fuzzed.

43 The Philistine ridiculed David. “Am I a dog that you come after me with a stick?” And he cursed him by his gods.

44 “Come on,” said the Philistine. “I’ll make roadkill of you for the buzzards. I’ll turn you into a tasty morsel for the field mice.”

45 David answered, “You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God, the God of Israel’s troops, whom you curse and mock.46 This very day God is handing you over to me. I’m about to kill you, cut off your head, and serve up your body and the bodies of your Philistine buddies to the crows and coyotes. The whole earth will know that there’s an extraordinary God in Israel.47 And everyone gathered here will learn that God doesn’t save by means of sword or spear. The battle belongs to God-he’s handing you to us on a platter!”

And of course you know the rest of the story. The little boy, on his first shot with a pebble from his sling, slays the giant and the Israelites ultimately destroy the Philistines.

Was it his faith that powered him and gave him confidence?

I’m not a big fan of the trash talk today, but mainly because it is usually self-centered and honestly, bad sportsmanship IMHO. However, I DO like the idea of a confident believer boasting about the Champion, the Author, the Perfecter and the Finisher of our faith. Paul had no problem recognizing his own insufficiency and pointing to the source of his boldness.

Each time he (Jesus) said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. (Galatians 6:14)

So, I pray today that it will become normal for me to be BOLD about sharing how awesome my God is..not for my glory..but for His fame!

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