Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Challenge - Talk Some Smack

A fair amount of the email we receive is regarding the "Smack Talk" link under "Quick Links". Some are grateful for it, and send recommendations to be added (thanks, by the way), while others are more skeptical about it.

We separate "smack talk" from "trash talk" in this way. You know trash when you hear it. It belittles, exaggerates, creates doubt, casts aspersions, and is, more often than not, profane.

Smack talk, in our view, is a bit different. It challenges, and inspires. It answers. It pops trash in the mouth, and silences it. Yes, it's aggressive, it's meant to be. Smack talk is the upper hand to trash talk.

For one of the best examples of both, read the story of David and Goliath (I Sam 17)

Goliath talked trash:

41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”

Notice he despised David. He mocked him. He cursed at David. That's trash talk.

David replied with smack talk:

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

Some might say today that David's reply was arrogant, or "unsportsmanlike." We think it shows his confidence, both in his Maker and in himself.

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”

How do you get that sort of confidence? Through preparation, experience, and the reliance on knowing God made you, and us all, with a purpose in mind. Notice David was not ashamed of his "menial" job of being a shepherd. But his brothers were:

28When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert?"

See, more trash talk. And also notice that David didn't view the hardship of his "little" job as a negative. Who wants to fight a bear or a lion for a few sheep? Who wants to be the one to take the garbage out at work? or have to say "you want fries with that?" or put up with a condescending co-worker or family member? None of us do. And don't hate your small beginnings, or your bad days, because like David, your time will come. It will. Just be ready for it. And take the challenge head on.

48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.

When your time comes, you'll have something to say because it'll be backed up by what you can do. And we hope you talk some great smack to that trash talking giant in your way. Just make sure you earned it, and that you make your Maker proud.

Illustration: Thomas Allen
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