When I was a young girl I used to enjoy watching televised boxing matches with my Daddy. I can remember how back in the 1970s … American former professional World Heavyweight Boxing Champion … Muhammad Ali, would trash-talk his opponents. Trash talking, for those who might not know … is a form of boasting or insulting. Muhammad Ali, nicknamed “The Greatest” … was a master at trash talking and oftentimes used trash talk to intimidate his challengers.
One of Ali’s historic boxing matches was with “Smokin” Joe Frazier in March of 1971. Ali and Frazier were in their prime, and they were both undefeated Heavyweight Champions when they met in the ring at Madison Square Garden for the match known as “The Fight of the Century.” Prior to the fight, Ali trash-talked Frazier with comments like, “Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the US Bureau of Wild Life” … and …“I’ll beat him so bad he’ll need a shoehorn to put his hat on.”
It appears Ali’s trash-talking had no effect on Frazier because twenty-four seconds into the fifteenth and final round of the match, just as Ali was set to throw a right uppercut … Frazier beat him to the punch and connected with one of the most brutal left-hooks ever thrown. Ali went down … but he was back up on his feet before the referee could finish the count. Yet, at the end of the match the judges’ decision was unanimous in favor of Frazier. It was Ali’s first professional loss.
I had the opportunity to meet Muhammad Ali in the 1980s while staying at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. We were both dining in the Hyatt’s once-iconic blue-domed restaurant … the Polaris, when we met. Although our conversation wasn’t very long, I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with Ali’s impeccable manners and his gentle, and genuine demeanor. So much so, that after meeting Ali I found it almost impossible to think of him as the forceful, hard-hitting heavyweight champion he’d proven himself to be. That is until I remembered that in media interviews Ali describe his boxing style as … “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” I decided that I must have met the “Float like a butterfly” side Muhammad Ali.
Had I been one of Ali’s boxing opponents … I would have undoubtedly met his trash-talking “Sting like a bee” side … for Ali understood the detrimental power of trash-talk and used it like a weapon to defeat those he fought. I’m convinced many of Ali’s opponents were defeated before they ever stepped inside the boxing ring. Imagine how terribly difficult it must have been for a
contender to maintain confidence in his boxing abilities when he was being bashed by trash-talking Ali with words like these (famous Ali quotes), “I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ‘em out, I pick the round.” “If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.”
Just as Muhammad Ali trash-talked to defeat many of his opponents … likewise, Satan trash-talks to defeat you and me. In fact, trash-talking is one of the main ways Satan attempts to steal, kill, and destroy our confidence, hopes, dreams, goals, and God-ordained destiny. That’s why it is so important we read God’s Word. Because the more we grow in God’s Word … the stronger we become in our faith. As our faith and knowledge of God grows … the stronger we become as Christians. As strong Christians … we’re more likely to stand firm when Satan fights us with trash-talk. For example, one day Satan accuses you about something. Unlike previous times when Satan’s trash-talking would have knocked you off your feet, this time Satan’s trash-talking has no effect on you because you know God’s Word says, “Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has forgiven us and given us right standing with himself.” (Romans 8:33; TLB)
A week or so later, in hopes of knocking you out cold with a brutal left hook, Satan trash-talks you by whispering in your thoughts … “God doesn’t love you anymore.” Again, Satan fails to deliver a knock-out punch because you know God’s Word says, “For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when He died for us.”—Romans 3:38-39; TLB
Do you see the difference that knowing God’s Word can make in your life? If so, start reading, speaking, using, and/or meditating on God’s Word today.
Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before many witnesses.—1 Timothy 6:12; AMP
Debra Joy Wallace is a Christian columnist and speaker. Facebook page: Weighty Inspiration by Debra Joy – Email: [email protected] – Website: www.debrawallace.com