Finding Strength in Authenticity: Lessons from David and Goliath Inspired by Joe Reagan

Catholic and Diverse
Finding Strength in Authenticity: Lessons from David and Goliath Inspired by Joe Reagan

Finding Strength in Authenticity: Lessons from David and Goliath Inspired by Joe Reagan

By: Dr. Alice Prince

Yesterday evening unfolded beautifully as I dined with several charming couples, each interaction a chance to glean new insights and inspirations. Inspiration, I've realized, is an intriguing phenomenon—it can strike anywhere or seemingly nowhere at all. My approach has always been actively seeking sparks that ignite inspiration, happiness, love, hope, and encouragement.

During one particularly engrossing conversation, a close friend, who is not only a brilliant businessman but also a devout faith-filled man, revisited the familiar biblical tale of David and Goliath. We've all encountered this story in various forms—be it during Sunday School, through digital sermons on Instagram, or within the passionate narratives of church homilies.

The story is etched in the annals of Samuel 17, where the young shepherd David faces the towering challenge posed by Goliath, a fearsome giant. Despite his intimidating presence, David confronts Goliath, not with sophisticated weapons, but with a simple sling and a stone, coupled with unwavering faith in God. This act of bravery, reliance on God, and utilization of his innate strengths ultimately led to his triumph, defeating the giant that had long terrorized his people.


In light of this story, my interaction after a DEI conference with the Marist schools became more meaningful. The educators there emphasized one pivotal concept: authenticity. I have long endeavored to embody my most authentic self, recognizing that authenticity changes as we evolve. I pray my evolution is always toward becoming more faithful, loving, compassionate, and divinely aligned. Yet, I acknowledge my humanity and understand that perfection is not the day-to-day reality.

Joe Reagan's Inspiration

Joe Reagan's interpretation of the story of David and Goliath struck a chord with me. He artfully paralleled the narrative with the crucial importance of authenticity. In his recounting, David initially wore King Saul’s armor, attempting to meet Goliath on terms not his own. It’s only when the cumbersome armor is discarded that David truly embraces his unique self. He approaches Goliath with nothing but his sling, faith, and authenticity. It's not the armor that grants strength; it's David's genuine, vulnerable self, equipped with God-given talents, that leads him to victory.

This narrative underscores the power rooted in walking through life authentically. Embracing ourselves as the masterpieces God crafted allows us to live freely, extending this freedom to others by encouraging them to live and love authentically. It's a beautiful, reciprocal relationship—when we accept and love ourselves for who we are, it fosters a community where love for one's neighbor flourishes, and appreciation for God's unique design in each of us is celebrated.

Authenticity isn't just important; it's strength, courage, and a form of reverence. By being our truest selves, we honor the complexities God wove into our being, and we step into every battle, every challenge, with our most powerful weapon—our authentic selves.

Prayer for the Week

Heavenly Father,

As we embark on the journey of this new week, we pause to reflect on the authenticity of our paths, seeking courage in the story of David and Goliath. We ask for the strength to shed the 'armor' that we've wrongly adorned ourselves with—the expectations, roles, and perceptions that do not align with our true selves. Help us, Lord, to recognize these burdens for what they are and give us the courage to lay them down.

Teach us to embrace the unique way You've crafted us, Lord, celebrating and utilizing our inherent gifts rather than coveting or imitating those of others. In moments of doubt, remind us that You have equipped us with all we need to overcome the giants we face. Instill in us the wisdom to recognize that our authenticity is the slingshot in our battles, and our faith in You is the stone that brings down giants.

May we walk this week in authentic service to You, finding joy in our true selves and inspiring others to do the same. Help us to love others authentically as reflections of Your divine image, fostering a community of genuine connection and mutual appreciation.

In Your name, we pray.


Reflection Questions

  1. In what areas of your life are you wearing 'armor' that doesn't belong to you, hindering you from embracing your authentic self? Consider relationships, professional environments, or personal aspirations where you feel you cannot fully be yourself.
  2. Reflect on a recent challenge where embracing your authenticity (your unique strengths and values) could have led to a more positive outcome. How can this insight shape your approach to future challenges?

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