Like many out there, and you may be on that table, having to be born into poverty turned out my biggest motivation. You really don’t need to be told how evil poverty is; that goddamn thing beats you into sheets, so finely that you struggle to recognize yourself. And there’s no better time to see what poverty can do as now; while the rich can afford to stay home and watch the world burn for as long as it gets to, the poor suffer want and stay hungry as long as it lasts. And sadly ever after.

Once I’d shared that Malcolm Gladwell’s “David and Goliath” saved my life, but didn’t get to say why. Here’s why: In that Bible story, and Gladwell’s powerful commentary on it, even the poorest of the poor would come to realize that everyone stands a chance at finishing strong in life. More on Gladwell some other time.

This piece is about the four (4) lessons I picked from the original story of David and Goliath, as recorded in 1 Samuel 17, lessons that preachers often overlook – and Gladwell didn’t cover in his book. These lessons promise to help us make the most of the changing times:

1. Be clear what’s in it for you: When David arrived the camp and found that everything was at stake, that even the king and his warlords were at their wits’ end, he wasn’t so carried away by his desire (and ability) to save the day that he failed to do the needful: be clear about what he stood to gain from cutting down Goliath. More than once he’d ask, and twice was told the bounty on Goliath’s head: a. the king’s daughter, b. great wealth, c. family exemption from taxes. Always be clear about what you stand to gain. If you ain’t sure, kindly don’t hesitate to ask.

2. Beware of the envy of family (and friends): Sadly, it was his very own brother, blood, that first called him out. Recall that in the chapter immediately preceding this episode, 16, this same Eliab was thought by Samuel to be the Lord’s anointed – and God rejected him. And there he was talking down and abusing his youngest brother, David, trying to dissuade him from such a destiny-altering move. Need I say more? Beware of family and friends; more enemies are known to come from those quarters than elsewhere.

3. Saul wears David his amour: Can you imagine that? After David refuses to be dissuaded from the move, and now realizing that the ‘only’ available option has to be given a try, Saul, the king, takes off his clothes and wears them on David. Wow! Fact, when you bring value to the table, even the high and mighty gets to make space for you; they give you whatever you need in return.

4. Don’t dress in borrowed robes: However regal Saul’s amour was, David just couldn’t fit in; he wasn’t used to that sort of stuff. He takes them off and goes back to normal: shepherd dress, staff, and sling. And filing out against Goliath from his comfort zone saw him winning fair and square. So much talk about leaving your comfort zone; you need wisdom to know when to operate from there.


This is beautiful writing isn’t it? My brand is sophisticated simplicity; the goal is no dictionary. You like me to show you how I do the magic? Then sign up for my upcoming training here: bit.ly/writingexpo2ad

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