A spiritual guide to overcoming life’s seemingly outsized obstacles.
As the centerpiece of his nonfiction debut, longtime pastor and public speaker Lawson has chosen the biblical figure of King David, which is always a tricky gambit. Although David is one of the most courageous, charismatic figures in the Old Testament, it can also be argued that he’s one of the most self-serving, so using him as a guide to life requires some careful picking and choosing. As this book’s title indicates, Lawson opens his narrative with the signature story of young David’s heroism defeating the Philistine champion Goliath in single combat. In Lawson’s conception, Goliath stands in for all the seemingly unbeatable difficulties of life, and he stresses that such difficulties are not always external. They can take the shape of an “internal list” of “all those things that one has done, things that have been done to us, mistakes we have made, failures, frustrations, and weaknesses,” he says, which combine to form “an impenetrable case for why we are unworthy to do anything for God.” The author’s easily accessible progression of chapters features plenty of self-deprecating humor and pop-culture references, including nods to the movies The Blues Brothers (1980) and The Princess Bride (1987). He uses a series of stories from David’s life to make his case that “giants come in all forms” and to stress that Christians should strive to make themselves ready for God’s grace, which “restores, transforms, and honors,” he says. He likens this inner readiness to the “life of training” that athletes embrace, and his book outlines steps to achieve it. Lawson refreshingly emphasizes introspection and critical self-evaluation as means of personal as well as interpersonal growth (“one of the great things about becoming more self-aware,” he writes, “is that it helps you understand others”). Throughout his straightforwardly optimistic book, he asserts that the point of self-awareness is to “make room” for God’s grace to enter one’s heart.
A compact, upbeat manual for using Christian inspiration to solve problems.