What I'm Learning About Courage

Back in January I decided to choose a theme word for 2018: Something inspirational to energize me. Aspirational to stretch me.  Directional to guide me.

I decided on the word “Courage.”  

As a guy committed to trying to live like Christ, it turns out that courage for me today is different from how I thought about it 20 years ago.  The role the Holy Spirit plays is especially interesting. (As a reminder, Christ promised the disciples to send his Spirit so every one of his followers would have their own personal Jesus living inside of them as a guide and source of power.  It’s an amazing gift often overlooked in a world that has reduced Christianity to a moral code or some simplistic heaven-or-hell equation.)

Most of my opportunities to step into courage this year have come from a prompting of the Holy Spirit.  For me, these promptings show up as thoughts that hit my mind out of the blue.  Things like: “Go talk to that person.” “Say what’s really on your mind.” “Pray out loud with them.” “You’ve discussed God enough. Tell them about Jesus.” Stuff like that.

There are other things I have done that fall into the typical notion of courage.  Like launching my own spiritual growth and life purpose coaching practice. Multiple promptings over an extended period of time led me to that decision.    

So, after attempting to live in the “courage zone” for the first three months of this year, here’s what I’m learning:

1.     Courage isn’t the absence of fear.  It’s doing the right thing in the face of fear. (I didn’t come up with this.  I heard it from someone else, but can’t remember who.)

2.    Courage is less about taking crazy risks and more about being obedient.

3.    Courage is remembering in the dark what God has promised in the light. (Not mine either.)

4.   Courage is the discipline to work on the important when the urgent is pounding on the door.

5.   Courage is asking the “dumb” question because you’d rather grow than be thought a fool.

6.   Courage doesn’t guarantee everything will be alright. It guarantees you'll sleep well because you did the right thing.

Give it a try. I would love to hear what you learn.