I’m sort of enamored with the concept of courage. I love reading the Old Testament with all its acts of valor. Just reading the term “valiant men” anywhere in scripture makes me want to grab a sword and shield or slingshot and go find an uncircumcised Philistine.
Of course there are different characteristics of courage now than in O.T. days, but you get the point.
God is big on courage as well. He’s constantly telling us to be courageous, and do not fear (variations of that phrase are mentioned roughly 100 times in the Bible). Yet, I heard one of the greatest explanations of courage from an interview with Maya Angelou and Dave Chappelle. Yeah, those two make strange bedfellows for sure. I came across this episode of Iconoclast shortly after Maya’s death, where she explained courage as “the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”
I find that to be true. Whatever virtues you aspire to — whether it’s the fruit of the Spirit or some other set of values — it takes courage to live them.
Courage to love when there’s no guarantee you’ll be loved in return. To love after you’ve been heartbroken. To love when it’s misunderstood.
Courage to be patient when you’re pressured to react. To wait when you want to go. To not get ahead of yourself or the process.
Courage to be humble and admit you’re wrong. Courage to forgive.
Courage to have faith. To believe in the midst of negative circumstances. To trust God when everyone else is doubting.
Courage. It’s the virtue that allows you to live every other virtue. It’s a virtue that is already in you. God wouldn’t tell us to be courageous if it was beyond our ability to do so. He has equipped us with courage. We may not see it. We may not feel it. We may not use it often enough. But it’s in us. We just need to conjure it up more often. Practice it. Doing so allows the other virtues to operate.