Silencing Goliath

Silencing Goliath

Goliath represents big and powerful over small and weaker— loud, quiet or opposite--related or unrelated; physical, emotional, medical, addiction or spiritual.  If you are currently encountering a person or an entity that is threatening your peace, importance, harassing or intimidating, like David, you are indeed facing a metaphor of a stoppable Goliath.

Re-reading the account in I Samuel 17:3-39 about David, a small young Shepherd boy who took on Goliath, a nine-foot trained fighter outfitted with a bronze helmet on his head and a coat of scale armor, and a bronze javelin was hung on his back. As the Israelites and Philistines faced each other in battle Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel…” This day I defy the ranks of Israel. Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me.” Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

When David’s father sent David, with a load of food supplies to the brothers who were on the battlefield, and heard Goliath’s challenges, he volunteered to fight Goliath. David trusted the God of his fathers.

David had protected his flock from wild animals with a sling and pebbles and knew what he could do. He took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, …with his sling …approached Goliath… and in defeating him caused the Philistines to flee the battlefield.

Life is full of inconveniences, irritations and bothersome communication exchanges that wear us out emotionally but some of which we can handle ourselves even though we may feel a bit apprehensive. The following stories illustrate how the small managed the strong.

Spoken by a quiet softhearted person: “I’ve talked until I’m blue in the face to a guy on the board, who wants to make changes to what the group voted on and insists that it’s my job to make the call. I’ve given him all my reasons why it would be unfair to the company whose bid we accepted and who are to begin their work tomorrow. He doesn’t listen to what I say. It’s not my job to make calls like that. I’ve used brief “I” statements until finally, I said nothing and just looked at him.  And guess what? He finally stopped talking and actually listened to black and white facts. I am excited that I’ve discovered a way to counter a manipulative Thinker.  And since, then, he has been calling and asking for my opinion.” D.

She was delighted with her inner courage and success in facing-down a ‘manipulative’-goliath.

Spoken by an Extroverted Sensing Feeler:

Answering the waiting room phone is not something I normally do, but as I passed through, I noticed the answering machine blinking, so I decided to check it out. The caller was a new client who wanted a haircut and a perm. I checked my book and found time but not for two weeks. When I returned her call, she said she was willing to wait.

After greeting her and telling her my name, I showed her to the chair and began gathering the things I needed, she asked ‘are you Rene Wilson?’  Not many people knew my maiden name, so I kind of blinked and studied her more closely. Then, it dawned on me that we had graduated in the same class from high school thirty years ago, who I vaguely remembered.  As I began cutting her hair, she talked excitedly about classmates who I had no interest in hearing about and kept moving her head to look at me. She continued talking until I finally said firmly, “Phyllis, you have come to get your hair done and I can’t do it with this much talking.”

This was difficult for Rene, whose least enjoyable task is disrupting harmony or hurting anyone’s feelings.  But she had successfully silenced a ‘loquacious’ goliath.

I’m upset with my husband who insists on taking cell phone calls when we are eating out. It happens every time. I sit through non-urgent 15-minute conversations which make me feel very unimportant and disrespected. I’ve urged him to put his phone on silent and let the calls go on voice mail to be handled later. He refuses. I feel like getting up and going to the car.  Z.

Identifying disrespect involving phone or other regular interruptions of personal time with family or friends and using honest ‘I ‘comments such as “Because I feel disrespected and unimportant, the next time non-essential calls are taken when we are eating out, I’m going to the car.” Z handled ‘disrespectful goliath’.

Clients have shared that when they go out together or with their children, cell phones are not invited. We’ve noticed families seated around the restaurant table all with eyes glued to their phones. Being together for an hour needs to be established as the first priority. Naturally, if you’re eating out because of an emergency, the phone ban would be lifted.

Other ‘goliaths’ roam around intimidating non-suspecting parents/family/friends/workers/neighbors:

Children who Workmates who do not do as little as possible.

Neighbors whose yard/property lower the value of your home or whose late-night parties disturb your sleep.

Family who rarely help with chores or contribute to dinners and clean-up.

Well-meaning friends who pressure you to order something or contribute.

Committee members who are uncooperative.

Students who refuse to hand in assignments.

People who are not careful with borrowed cars/tools/etc.

The list is endless, but ‘silencing’ or ‘speaking up’ about lack of assistance/or respect requires thought and courage but is well worth attempting to figure out their temperaments which will provide understanding about why they speak or act in ways that affect your peace and contentment. Investment in discovering how God had designed them enables smoother conversational approaches in acknowledging what they probably have no clue about as to what it is about them that is irritating.

Since it is no secret that 50% of the nation is naturally neater with possessions, take that into consideration before confronting a neighbor.  Some have said they offer to help a neighbor be more organized.  Email your stories.

If God has designed you to be an Extroverted Thinker--60% men and 40% women--be respectful of the heart logic crowd—60% of women and 40% of men. Intuitive Thinkers even out-maneuver Sensing Thinkers, so obviously, it’s easy for Sensing Feelers to be intimidated.

All Intuitives—Introverted & Extroverted, Feeling & Thinking have the tendency for wanting to improve every decision, even those made by a committee. But because this ‘guy’ was hesitant to listen, preferring to give orders probably indicates that he is not only Extroverted but also Intuitive--completely unaware of his brashness. The stronger types are wise to hear-out Sensing and/or Intuitive Feelers, before they attempt to push ahead and take control.

Discerning which particular temperament intimidates you is beneficial, giving you a heads-up before emotional clashes occur. In my observations, opposite types are usually the source. When you understand that it’s perfectly normal to feel uncomfortable with certain styles of personalities, as you gain confidence in methods to silence their talk or authoritative take-overs, the distress is lessened.  For a quick review of Temperaments, go to my blog domain Follow the menu.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast. Isa. 26:3

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7 NIV.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Col. 3:12-13 (NIV).

As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34 (NIV) Loving involves understanding.