Donkey Kong

Dropping the Hammer of Power

DONKEY Kong has had some adventures over the years.

Donkey Kong Country saw him belt along in 3D; he popped up in Super Smash Bros and then there was Donkey Konga, the game that came with a set of bongo drums on the Game Cube, a gimmick that perhaps didn’t sell as well as Nintendo had hoped, which is a pity because they could have gone on to release an entire reggae band.

In Donkey Kong’s first gaming appearance though, he wasn’t even the character that the player controlled, despite the whole game being named after him.

In the first Donkey Kong, the original arcade version, a small dude named Jumpman (looking curiously like Mario) has to rescue a lass named Pauline from the chest-beating ape.

Donkey Kong keeps on throwing barrels down the platforms and Jumpman is forced to, well, jump, hastily climb ladders or grab a hammer to destroy the barrels.

Ahh yes, the hammer- what a feeling of power for a few seconds.

It allows you to smash the barrels as they fall, not only getting them out of the road but giving you extra points to boot.

Here’s the thing though- you’ll never finish the game with the hammer in your hand. It may seem like the ultimate weapon on Donkey Kong but it’s actually a limiting factor.

Power trips don’t last in life either. In fact, whatever our hammer is (a position, money, a piece of information, an ability, etc), it can provide a false sense of security, holding us back from becoming what God truly wants of us.

You can’t climb a ladder while holding the hammer in Donkey Kong- you’ve got to get rid of it to move on.

In our Christians lives, we need to let go of things that make us feel powerful, make us think we are the ones with the force to change the world.

Only God has the power to truly make a difference in people’s lives. He uses us most effectively when we’ve given up everything, when we don’t feel powerful, when we don’t have the barrel-bashing hammer in our hands.

Think Jonah inside a fish’s stomach; think Moses out in the middle of a desert; think Paul when he’s in prison, been shipwrecked, bitten by a snake and tortured.

This allows others to see God’s might working through us as vessels. Imagine if someone said the only reason you beat Donkey Kong was because of the hammer. You’d feel annoyed because it takes so much more than that.

Don’t get stuck on a pink girder of life, holding onto a hammer you believe makes you powerful.

Chances are it’s not going to last forever and it’ll hold you back from being who God wants you to be.

Becoming vulnerable might seem scary but that’s when God can use us the most. When we let go of it, He’ll grab onto us.


“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”- 2 Corinthians 12: 10


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