Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. – 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NKJV)
Bravery requires observation. Watchfulness. Discernment.
Charging blindly into a situation isn’t bravery; it’s stupidity. Courage calculates the risks and decides whether or not to take them, for sometimes the brave thing is to do nothing at all.
A heightened sense of alert is nothing foreign to an anxious person like me. If prompted (and probably without prompting) I could list hazards you never even dreamed of related to activities like brushing your teeth. Anxiety takes the idea of inaction as bravery and twists it on its head. Inaction becomes paralysis. Cowardice.
Bravery requires observation, but it also requires something else.
This is the Greek “act like men” in the NASB translation of 1 Corinthians 16:13 or “be brave” in the NKJV. The Hebrew equivalent is found here:
So be strong, show yourself a man, and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go. – 1 Kings 2:2-3 (NIV)
We ladies might object to the male-oriented phraseology, but if we focus on that we miss the point. In the above passage, the emphasis is on walking in the Lord’s ways. Following His example. Doing as His says.
So bravery looks like promises kept. It looks like a word timely spoken. It rides through the storm to save the lost sheep. It extends a hand of mercy instead of a fist.
To be brave is to move from observation to action.
Bravery does what Jesus says.
For all of the posts in the 31 Days: Brave series, go here.
This post also appeared on the Far East Broadcasting Company Gospel Blog on April 3, 2014.