When you hear the word “courage”, what comes to your mind? Perhaps soldiers in the thick of battle. Or maybe a knight fighting dragons like we read in fairytales.
One things is common in all cases: courage requires doing what seems right even when you don't feel like it.
I find this is quite similar to us Christians. We will need courage to be all what God wants us to be and do what He requires. It surely requires courage to be the only one who chooses not to be corrupt in an office where it is seen as normal.
It takes courage to be patient with annoying people who are ungrateful.
It takes courage to confront a bad situation
It takes courage to be the voice of the Voiceless
It takes courage to keep doing good even when no one appreciates it
It requires courage to be submissive to your husband even when he doesn’t love you like you would like.
It takes courage to love your wife like Christ loves the church, especially when she doesn’t respect you the way you want her to.
Yes, it sure takes courage to do the right things especially when you don’t feel like it.
But guess what, we have courage inside of us. You don’t have to wait to feel courageous, because you never will. Courage only comes alive when you choose to do the right thing even though you feel fear, worry, anxiety, etc.
It’s natural to feel afraid when you face a scary situation, or to want revenge when you have been hurt. It’s part of our nature as imperfect humans. But when we receive salvation through Jesus, the Bible calls us “new creatures” we receive power not to be slaves to our human desires and gratify our old nature, but to be slaves of righteousness, doing the good deeds God asks us to do.
But just because you are a new creature by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord does not translate to automatic perfection. You will always feel the natural urge to revenge, or to compromise, or to lie, or want validation from people, etc. But because you are a Christian, you can choose to do the right thing even though you don’t feel like it. And that takes courage.
Courage like love and other virtues is not a feeling, but a conscious decision to do something good. The Bible admonishes us in Colossians 3:12 to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” Other translations read “put on…” You and I know it takes an effort to put on clothes. They don’t just jump onto our bodies. We go through our wardrobe, looking for what to wear, probably iron it, and then put them on.
Courage is the same, just as other virtues. The good news is we have courage inside of us when we receive Christ as our Lord. The Holy Spirit in us enables us to be courageous. In 2 Timothy 1:7 we are told “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” And the Lord encourages us many times to “Fear not…I am with you”
So as Christians we can choose to do the right thing today, even when we don’t feel like it. Instead of timidly hiding our light today, let us make the effort to be the light where ever we are. And yes ,we can do this because we have the spirit of courage and boldness living on the inside of us.
Image1 courtesy: http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/mounted-knight-dragon-29096130.jpg