To end this ‘Have You Slayed BOTH Giants Yet’ series, a poem that I love is highlighted. Marianne Williamson’s Our Greatest Fear deals with the unjustified fear that too many people choose to have. In the film Coach Carter, a secularized version of the poem is recited by a basketball player at a time of challenge. I was introduced to the original Williamson poem by a Philadelphia friend.
Too many have the ability to ‘walk on water’ (Matthew 14, first post in series), but are still paradoxically too fear-gripped to take the first step. Peter had no such fear. Neither did David (1 Samuel 17). If you encounter such a situation, you shouldn’t either!
- The poem opens:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
As I think of this poem, one of my favorite Bible verses comes to mind.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline
(2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)
If you have this spirit, one that God gives all his children, you’ll never have the internal giant of unjustified ‘inadequacy’. Ironically, those people with this mindset that Williamson vividly describes, transform what should be a great source of strength into a ‘deep fear’ – a great source of doubt. That which should be a Badge of Honor is self-perceived, instead, as a Badge of Shame.
A champion lives within you. He’s given you authority.
- The 1992 poem continues:
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
As children of God, we were each born with a purpose from our Creator. In light of this, there are 3 things that Williamson’s poem suggests you and I avoid doing. Namely:
- Don’t ‘play small’.
- Don’t ‘shrink’ to avoid making others feel insecure.
- Don’t let your God-given gifts, ‘your light’, be a source of fear. Too many harbor unfounded self-doubt, which puts them in the 2-giant situation implied in the title of the first post in this series: Have You Slayed BOTH Giants Yet?
- Our Greatest Fear ends as follows:
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
- The poem can be found in “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson (Harper Collins, 1992).
What has God given You?
To get another perspective, the New King James version of 2 Timothy 1:7 reads:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
In a nutshell, he’s given each of us 3 things to help us slay the giants we face, namely:
- A spirit of power
- A spirit of love
- A spirit of sound mind (self-discipline)
If you allow these empowering spirits to be manifest in you, and regularly practice some of the six strategies I provided in the Part II post, I truly believe you’ll be rewarded. You’ll be able to live your life more abundantly – and successfully deal with the occasional challenges you do face.
Having ‘a spirit of fear and timidity’ wasn’t what God gave you. When you’re ‘called according to his purpose’ (Romans 8:28), the only one really pleased when you don’t use a God-given strength is the Devil. If you keep the faith, you’ll know that ‘things will work together for the good’. You’ll, as Marianne Williamson puts it, let your light shine!
In closing, remember that you’ve been empowered beyond measure. A spirit of weakness and poor self-discipline aren’t what the Lord gave you – or me. You’ve got the power. You have the power to make giants fall! So, what are you waiting for? I hope this three-post series has helped you, or a friend you shared it with, see the two types of giants Christians face in life – and how to, with God’s help, make those giants FALL, not flourish.
Are you encouraging yourself in the Lord, like David did, when you face a giant? If you are, you’re just one stone’s throw away from your victory. God’s got your back, if you’ve got the ability to throw your stone!
To God be the glory.