Skip to comments.Got Courage?
Posted on 02/28/2011 9:49:50 AM PST by hawkins
Our society definitely honors those who show courage. Medals are given to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and coast guard personnel who go above and beyond the call of duty and exhibit great bravery while completing their assigned missions. Many times, the people who are so recognized did these actions at the risk of their own lives. Thus, the military awards decorations to these brave men and women according to their level of valor. With much pomp and ceremony, these heroes receive such medals as the Bronze or Silver Star, the Distinguished Service Cross, or the highest award our nation can give, the Medal of Honor.
Besides actions on the field of battle, our society also honors those who display courage in other areas and circumstances of life. Police officers, fire-fighters, and paramedics are recognized with awards and commendations for selfless acts of valor. Many distinguish themselves for rescuing people from dangerous, life-threatening situations: burning buildings, rising flood waters, and the rubble caused by catastrophic earthquakes and hurricanes. We look up to these folks and point out these self-sacrificing individuals to our friends, family, and especially, our children. They are considered worthy examples to follow.
We celebrate and honor it, but what truly is this intangible thing called courage? The dictionary defines it as: the quality of being brave; valor. (1) To further understand it, I looked up the word valor. It is defined as: courage or bravery. It originated from the Latin word valere which means: be strong. (2) Thus courage or valor is connected to strength. Those who exhibit this much celebrated attribute have a strength, an internal fortitude, that helps them control their doubts and fears and continue to function in the face of very scary, frightening situations. They are able to get the job done when others are ready to quit, give up, and surrender.
So much attention is paid to our secular heroes that it is easy to forget that bravery displayed in physical situations and circumstances is not the most important form of courage. The kind that really counts is the courage shown on the fields of spiritual battle. As Christians, we may never have to charge up a hill in the face of enemy fire or rescue a child from a burning house, but we still must display courage throughout our everyday lives. We face a devious spiritual enemy Satan who is ready and willing to temp us to sin and to discourage us from fulfilling our mission of serving God. Paul warned the brethren at Ephesus in Ephesians 6:12, For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (NKJV)
Facing such a relentless adversary as Satan, one who is always ready to devour us when our guard is down (I Peter 5:8), we must stand firm in our commitment to Christ and His gospel! We should know that it will not always be easy we will have to endure tests of our faith and times of persecution because of our devotion for our Lord and Savior (II Timothy 3:12). This is to be expected! Despite these challenges, we are to remain strong and courageous. Paul exhorted the Corinthians to: Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong (I Corinthians 16:13). What a great encouragement for us today!
We can also be encouraged to know that the strength that we need for our Christian walk is readily available! We just need to turn to the Lord and He will supply it. We just need to ask (Matthew 7:7 8). Gods word also gives us so many great examples of those who displayed great spiritual courage in their lives, culminating with the greatest example of all, Jesus Christ (See Hebrews chapters 11 & 12.) Let us study their lives and follow in their footsteps. We are not to rely on our own strength but: be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10). With a calm, courageous, confident attitude, we will be able to face any circumstance in life knowing that we are supported by His strength and power (Philippians 4:13)!
(1) Michael Agnes, ed., Websters New Dictionary (Cleveland, Ohio: Wiley Publishing Inc., 2003), 152.
(2) Ibid., 712.
I did an oops and failed to put the link to the article above in the edit template. The article was originally posted at: http://www.thatchristianwebsite.com/articles/gotcourage.html
Really nice post. Thank you.
No, all courage counts. To say that Christian courage counts more or less than courage shown in the face of the enemy is to belittle one or the other.
And what's up with all the quotation marks? Why does the word courage have quotations around it? Is this guy trying to make some kind of point, as if to say courage on the battlefield is called "courage", when it's really not that courageous when compared to Christian courage? Or is he just a terrible writer?
All bravery should be respected, whether it's facing the conviction of our beliefs in the face of ridicule and persecution, or facing fear, pain, and the prospect of a horrible death at the hands of our enemies.
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
The author “really likes quotation marks”.