10 Little Things That Tell a BIG Story About Your HEART [1 Samuel 17:17-40]


Absentmindedly scrolling through social media feels like everyone else has a perfect life, perfect job, perfect family, and perfect vacations, which all feel so out of reach.

But, is the secret to a truly remarkable life about these grand gestures on a public stage?

Have you ever heard of the “test of little things”?

Sometimes, the key to a life that makes a difference is hidden in the tiny choices we make every single day.

In 1 Samuel 17:17-40, we find a powerful illustration of this principle.

David, a seemingly ordinary shepherd boy, stands in stark contrast to his brothers.

While his brothers might have aced grand displays of physical prowess, they faltered when it came to the everyday responsibilities and small acts of character that truly mattered.

This begs the question: What tiny choices reveal the giant within you?

Let us look at the 10 little things that tell a big story about your heart’s readiness for a life of lasting significance.

Feeling overwhelmed by juggling faith, family, and finances?

The good news is, you don’t have to navigate these challenges alone.

Sprout Mentor is here to support you with our free Faith in Action Kits.

Download your free Faith in Action Kits today!

These resources are designed to help you nurture your faith, manage your household, and cultivate financial stewardship

They are a great way to simplify your life, strengthen your faith, and experience the joy of living a life guided by your Christian values.

Share This Blog Post On:

Are you looking for a deeper understanding of your faith? I’m excited to let you know that I have written books that delve into scripture and offer insights to help you grow in your Christian walk. Learn more about my books by visiting this link.

10 Little Things That Tell a Big Story About Your Heart [1 Samuel 17:17-40]

#1- Reliability in Responsibility

And Jesse said unto David his son, take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp of thy brethren.” [1 Samuel 17:17]

David faithfully tended his father’s sheep, only leaving when his father excused him.

He didn’t abandon his duty on a whim.

In verse 15, we see that even when assigned a role in the palace, he returned to his “lesser” task, which is tending the sheep in the wilderness, demonstrating commitment and a responsible heart.

Here’s why this foundational quality is so important:

  • Reliability builds trust. When people know you can be counted on to complete your tasks, they trust you with more responsibility. David’s consistent reliability with the sheep likely made his father confident in sending him on a more complex errand.
  • Greatness is built on faithfulness in the small things. The glamorous moments might get the spotlight, but it’s the daily acts of faithfulness that truly shape our character and prepare us for bigger challenges. David’s dedication to his shepherd duties honed his skills and instilled in him a sense of responsibility that would serve him well in the future.

In the parable of the Talents [Matthew 25:14–30] and Luke 16:10, Jesus taught that the smallest acts of faithfulness can pave the way for extraordinary things.

#2 – Kindness

And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for the battle.” [1 Samuel 17:20]

Even if his father had excused him from tending the sheep to run another errand, that is, to take food to his brothers on the battlefield, David secured the sheep’s care before leaving for that errand.

He made sure that the sheep would be cared for by leaving them under the supervision of the keeper.

This “shepherd’s heart” reveals his inherent kindness, extending care beyond his immediate responsibility.      

It demonstrated a heart that is attuned to the needs of others, even the most vulnerable.

David wasn’t just a shepherd who tended to his sheep; he had a shepherd’s heart – a heart that took responsibility for the well-being of those entrusted to his care.

This kind of heart matters because even the gentlest ripples can create a powerful wave of positive change.

#3 – Fearlessness

“And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.” [1 Samuel 17:24]

Fear became a contagious disease, paralyzing the entire army.

While the entire Israelite army trembled before Goliath, a seemingly ordinary shepherd boy, David remained composed.

This little test reveals a heart that can navigate challenges without succumbing to fear, which is important because:

  • Fear can be crippling. When we give in to fear, it can prevent us from taking risks, pursuing our dreams, and standing up for what’s right. David’s courage served as a beacon of hope, reminding the Israelites that fear didn’t have to control them.
  • True Courage isn’t the absence of fear; it’s acting in spite of it. David undoubtedly felt fear when he saw Goliath. However, he didn’t let that fear stop him from doing what he believed was right.
  • Just like fear, Courage is contagious. David’s bravery, though seemingly insignificant at first, likely inspired others to face their fears.

#4 – Attitude Towards Material Rewards

“And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel.” [1 Samuel 17:25]

The desperate king offered a fortune, a princess, and a tax exemption for slaying Goliath.

This offer highlights a crucial question: What truly motivates us?

David’s response sheds light on a heart driven by purpose, not material gain.

The promise of wealth or a prestigious marriage didn’t sway him.

His focus was on a far greater cause – the reputation of Israel and the honor of God.

Here’s why this distinction is so important:

  • Purpose fuels perseverance. When our motivation is rooted in something bigger than ourselves, it gives us the strength to persevere through challenges. David knew that defeating Goliath wasn’t just about personal gain; it was about standing up for his God and his nation.
  • Material rewards can be fleeting. Money, possessions, and even status can lose their luster over time. But the satisfaction of pursuing a worthy cause and living a life of purpose is a reward that lasts a lifetime.
  • Focus on the bullseye, not the bonus round. Life is full of distractions and tempting detours. But just like David, we need to stay focused on the bigger picture – the God-given purpose for our lives.

#5 – Your Words

“And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, what shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” [1 Samuel 17:26]

Are your words weapons or bridges?

When the men of Israel said, “He has come to challenge Israel,” David reframed it, saying, “He dares to challenge the armies of the living God.”

When the men of Israel focused on “The man who kills him,” David emphasized the bigger picture: “The man who kills this Philistine will remove the disgrace from Israel.”

David’s words turned fear into faith and a sense of duty. His words built up and inspired others into action.

By shifting the focus to God, David instilled a sense of purpose and divine backing that transcended their fear.

The way we talk about a situation can influence how others perceive it.

David’s words shifted the narrative from fear and self-preservation to faith and collective action.

David’s words weren’t self-serving or boastful.

They reflected his deep faith in God and his concern for his people.

When our words consistently uplift and inspire others, they reveal a heart that is aligned with God’s purposes.

By consciously choosing our words, we can follow David’s example and use our voices to shape the narrative, not just around us but also within our hearts.

#6 – Response to Opposition & Rejection

“And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.” [1 Samuel 17:28]

Here, a young David, brimming with Courage to face Goliath, is met with ridicule and doubt from his flesh and blood.

Eliab accuses him of arrogance and questions his motives.

Have you ever felt ostracized or criticized for pursuing a goal that felt God-given?

It’s easy to get discouraged or even defensive when those closest to us doubt our choices.

When David’s brother Eliab ridiculed him, David remained focused on God’s bigger picture – confronting Goliath and defending his God.

He didn’t seek personal vindication. David didn’t get into a fight with his brother or try to prove himself.

David didn’t get into a fight with his brother or try to prove himself, revealing a heart secure in God’s purpose and not man’s approval.

#7 – Confidence Rooted in God

And David said to Saul, let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” [1 Samuel 17:32]

David’s declaration of confidence wasn’t rooted in his physical prowess or years of warfare.

It was an echo of a deeper strength – a confidence rooted in his faith in God.

This simple act of Courage reveals a crucial truth: true confidence comes from a source far greater than ourselves.

Where do you find your strength?

Is it in your accomplishments, your physical abilities, or the opinions of others?

These sources of confidence are shaky at best.

They can crumble under pressure or fade with time.

Confidence rooted in God is unshakeable.

This kind of confidence allows us to face challenges head-on.

We don’t have to downplay the threat or pretend to be something we’re not. We can face our giants with Courage, knowing that God is on our side.

God’s word is filled with promises of strength, courage, and victory.

Cling to these promises when facing challenges to build up your confidence.

#8 – Sight Beyond the Obvious

And Saul said to David, thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.” [1 Samuel 17:33]

King Saul’s perspective on David facing Goliath was tragically limited.

He saw only a young, inexperienced shepherd boy.

His words reflected a common human tendency: to judge situations based on outward appearances.

David, however, saw something entirely different. He saw beyond his age and size and instead focused on God’s potential within him.

This is a crucial distinction – the difference between seeing limitations and seeing possibilities.

Here’s why “seeing beyond the obvious” is so important in our own lives:

  • It frees us from self-doubt. When we constantly focus on our weaknesses, we cripple our potential. David, though young, didn’t let that define him. He knew that God could use him in a mighty way.
  • It allows us to see opportunities where others see obstacles. Goliath might have seemed invincible to the Israelites, but David saw a giant-sized target. When we cultivate the ability to see the world through God’s eyes, we can identify opportunities for growth and victory that others might miss.
  • It fuels our faith in God’s bigger plan. Saul saw only the immediate situation – a small boy against a giant warrior. David, however, saw himself as part of something bigger – God’s plan for victory. When we trust in God’s bigger plan, we can face challenges with courage and confidence.

#9 – Preparation in Daily Battles

And David said unto Saul, thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock.” [1 Samuel 17:34]

David wasn’t a novice shepherd.

His encounters with wild animals – the “daily battles” of a shepherd – were actually God’s way of preparing David for the ultimate showdown.

This verse speaks volumes about how God prepares us for the big moments in life.

It’s not just the grand gestures and dramatic speeches that equip us, but the faithfulness we demonstrate in the seemingly mundane.

Here’s why this is so important:

  • Faithfulness in the small things builds confidence. When David faced the lion and the bear, he didn’t cower.
  • Everyday battles refine our skills. David’s experience with slings and stones honed his aim and agility. These skills, honed in the “ordinary” moments of his life, became the very tools he needed to bring down the giant.

Don’t despise the “small battles” of your life.

They are not meaningless interruptions but God’s way of shaping you into the champion you were meant to be.

#10 – Trusting God’s Armor

And David girded his sword upon his armor, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.” [1 Samuel 17:39]

Imagine this: you’re about to face the biggest challenge of your life.

Maybe it’s a job interview, a difficult conversation, or a daunting personal goal.

Someone offers you “help” in the form of something that doesn’t feel right.

It might be a fancy outfit that restricts your movement, a script that feels inauthentic, or a reliance on external validation.

This is exactly what David faced in 1 Samuel 17:39.

King Saul, desperate for a champion, offered David his armor – a heavy suit designed for a seasoned warrior.

David, however, did something unexpected. He tried it on, took a few steps, and then rejected it.

Why? Because it wasn’t his, and it wasn’t how he had faced challenges before.

David’s act of taking off the armor is a powerful metaphor for trusting God’s provision.

Do you trust in God’s way of doing things, even when it seems unconventional?

David’s confidence wasn’t in the weight of metal or the reputation of a soldier.

His confidence came from his relationship with God and the victories he had already achieved with his sling and his shepherd’s staff.

This seemingly insignificant act reveals a heart completely surrendered to God.

David wasn’t clinging to external sources of strength.

He was saying, “God, I trust you. I trust that you’ve equipped me for this battle in the way that’s best for me.”

  • Are we clinging to methods or tools that are hindering our growth?
  • Are we seeking external validation instead of trusting God’s guidance?
  • Are we open to God equipping us in unexpected ways?

The story of David is a reminder that greatness isn’t born overnight.

It’s forged in the fires of everyday faithfulness.

By passing the “tests of little things,” we cultivate a heart ready to receive God’s blessings and fulfill His purpose.

What’s one small challenge you’re facing right now?

Could this be an opportunity for God to prepare you for something bigger?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

Remember, even a shepherd boy can defeat a giant!

Tag someone who needs to hear this and share the hope!

Are you feeling stuck in your Christian walk?

We offer a powerful collection of Christian ebooks designed to equip you for growth and empower you to live a life guided by your faith.

Share This Blog Post On:

Are you looking for a deeper understanding of your faith? I’m excited to let you know that I have written books that delve into scripture and offer insights to help you grow in your Christian walk. Learn more about my books by visiting this link.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *