“You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth” (1 Samuel 17:33). King Saul’s words to David reflected his lack of faith and courage as he sized up Goliath the giant and accepted defeat.
There will always be people who will try to prevent or discourage you from slaying the giants in your life. Their resistance could be due to the fact that “misery loves company,” or they are projecting their lack of faith onto you, or they have any other reasons to keep you locked in your cell of defeat. Whatever the intention, you may find that you have to stand alone in your quest. Don’t wait for the support of a cheerleading squad before you step out.
David met with discouragement as soon as he came to the battlefield and asked why everyone was running from Goliath. Eliab, David’s oldest brother, accused him of being a conceited show off –simply for being on the scene. “ ‘Now what have I done?’ said David. ‘Can’t I even speak?’ He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter” (1 Samuel 17:29). David’s response represents a key strategy in dealing with discouragers. It reminds me of my elders in the South. When they wanted to let someone know they were ignoring their comments, they would say, “I’m not studin’ you!” To study means to give something careful thought and consideration. When David turned from Eliab to speak to the other men, he was, in essence, saying to him, “I’m not studin’ you! I’m going to ignore you and focus on someone else.” We can easily fall into the trap of giving too much thought and consideration to the discourager.
You cannot afford to allow another person’s negative input, which emanates from their insecurity, to reinforce your own. You have to handle such discouragers the same way you would handle any toxic substance: eliminate or limit your exposure. When you must come into contact with it, protect yourself with the proper attire—that is, the whole armor of God (see Ephesians 6:11-18). Victory will be yours!
Adapted from my book, 30 Days to a Stronger More Confident You