Be of Good Courage

Being courageous is a matter of the heart. Not of our muscles or our bravado. Our hearts. The continuing natural disasters and horrendous violence occurring around us have been calling me to pray for a more courageous heart; a courageous heart to lead me in bringing greater compassion, humility, and charity into my little corner of the world, beginning in my own home.

So, what does a courageous heart in action look like? Well, I’m still learning…here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  1. Courage is not always about BIG, BOLD action. The times I’ve behaved most courageously in my relationships have involved being still, closing my mouth and opening my heart. Moving beyond the habitual desire to fix, rescue, provide solutions. Led by a courageous heart, I am more present, more able to listen empathically and connect on a deeper level to someone who is hurting or angry or anxious.
  2. Courage means following my heart. The word courage comes from the Old French ‘corage’ and the Latin ‘cor,’ both meaning heart, innermost feelings.
    If I listen to my mind-chatter going round-and-round long enough, I can talk myself into or out of just about anything. When I choose courage, I get still & quiet in my mind so I can tune into my heart. I think of it as tuning into God’s voice within me rather than the noise of the world with all its what ifs, you should, you shouldn’t, but then they’ll think
  1. To be courageous is to be vulnerable. Courage is born out of our vulnerability. Opening myself up and revealing my vulnerabilities requires strength and courage. Putting on “a brave face” or “staying strong” in the midst of my hurts doesn’t actually require much courage. Invulnerability is easy and comfortable. However, for me to lean on my husband or a close friend and say, “I’m not doing so good today and I really need to talk” or asking “Will you help me?” takes courage!
  2. Courage is unnecessary unless we are afraid.

    Being terrified but moving ahead and doing what must be done – that’s courage. The one who feels no fear is a fool, and the one who lets fear rule him is a coward. – Piers Anthony

    So long as we are alive, we can expect to feel fearful, at different times and to varying degrees. As the quote above says, to live without feeling fear is “foolish.” We are fooling ourselves. Denial. To live in collusion with our fear is cowardice. A trick of the enemy to keep us quiet and small. To acknowledge my fear, and move ahead anyway, is courage.

 

Biblical Reminders

Here are a few truths for us to hang onto as we seek to approach our daily lives with more courageous hearts!

      • God is with you every single second – ALWAYS. (Matthew 28:20)
      • You are designed for greatness, made in the image and likeness of God himself. (Gen 1:27)
      • God has a mighty plan for you. You were not born to play small. (Jeremiah 29:11)
      • You can do all things through Christ! (Phil 4:12)

This is one of my favorite scripture verses and always gives me courage: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

A Closing Prayer

As I was writing this post, the scene in the garden of Gethsemane came to mind. The scene where the soldiers came to take Jesus away. Peter was ready to fight, drawing his sword, and taking a bold action, which may have looked courageous (Matthew 26:51). As I thought about that, I became aware that every time in my life when I’ve chosen “fight” or “force” over peace and acceptance, I was driven by my fear, not my courage. Jesus chose peace and acceptance while enduring ridicule, torture, and even death. I pray that I will look to Jesus as the source of my courage:

Heavenly Father, I pray for a more courageous heart! I pray for the courage to endure my trials with my eyes always on You. Give me the courage to sit with others who are hurting and the grace to stay quiet and simply listen. I pray that I may follow the way of Jesus in opening my heart to those who would mistreat, misunderstand, or misjudge me. Show me how to stay open and courageously vulnerable so I may not miss any of the highs or the lows that You would have me experience in this lifetime. Please help me to get quiet everyday and listen for Your voice. Thank You for Your constant love and guidance. AMEN.

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