David was decisively independent in his approach to Goliath.
While hollering out loud that it was the Lord who would handle everything, David picked up a stone. In fact, he picked up five. In fact, he first had to refuse the king’s offer for a bronze helmet and armor and whatnot, which the king thought were a way to help David handle Goliath.
David had his own way. He had nurtured an independent spirit while spending thousands of hours in the wild, tending vulnerable sheep, where he professed his God had saved him from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear – but David still had to run at them, strike them, and more.
He knew his God was with him.
That is a very important reason to be ourselves. This God wants to be with us. If we are not ourselves, then with whom is He spending time? Our lack of a sense of self can have us saying, “I am afraid to be the me that you are asking me to be. Even if the heavy lifting is on you.”
He wants to spend His time with us, whom He loves. If what the world needs now is love sweet love, then it is good to understand what it is about us that God loves anyway.
He wants us to be conformed to His image, but not by shirking responsibility for an extremely, sometimes excruciatingly, emotional message from a God to people that goes like this: is this personal to you? It’s personal to me.
You are personal to Me.
If it is true that we are so personal to God, then running half-mast is not complimentary to Him, our Creator. The least we can do, is to know our strengths, know our weaknesses, know our temperament, know our training, know our impulses that help, know our urges that hinder.
Even soft-hearted, be-good-to-your-neighborhood cultural icons testify to the necessity of fierce independence as a gateway to contributing to the greater good of the community.
“Love is generally confused with dependence,” Mister Fred McFeely Rogers once said. “Those of us who have grown in true love know that we can love only in proportion to our capacity for independence.”
We are positioned to be better to each other because of it.
Mister Rogers said further, “…you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.”
Importantly, David’s “knew himself” was met with “knew his God.” Every single step that David took was influenced by his trust in something outside of him.
The process was progressive, bold, often painful.
And met by a God who is distinctly personal.