31 Days of Brave: Define

photo-1421986527537-888d998adb74

Gentle Reader,

If it is important to know what bravery is, then it is also important to know what bravery is not.

To be brave is not equal to being a loud-mouth or a bully. I believe that courageous people posses a calmness and resolve of spirit. There is a sense in which they have made their decisions before situations arise. Bullies need to be the biggest, the best, the toughest, the smartest, the prettiest, the most wounded (yes, I do believe that woundedness has become a competitive art). Loud-mouths feel the need to say anything and everything that comes into their minds, whether it is true or not.

Perhaps there is a connection between bravery and wisdom. In knowing when to act and when to speak.

My journey to faith. (15)

  For all of the posts in the 31 Days: Brave series, go here.

31 Days of Brave: Andrizomai

photo-1421986527537-888d998adb74

Gentle Reader,

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.

Andrizomai.

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.

My journey to faith. (15)

 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.

31 Days of Brave: Introduction

photo-1421986527537-888d998adb74

Gentle Reader,

Welcome to the 2013 edition of the 31 Days Challenge, hosted by The Nester. The goal of the challenge is to write on one theme every day throughout the month of October. (Full disclosure: last year I pre- and post-dated entries. It will probably happen again). Anyone with a blog can participate. There are no limitations on what you can write about. (My 2012 series). This is a great way to get into the discipline of daily writing, even if you don’t always post that writing. It’s also a great way to discover new blogs, and therefore new friends, as you peruse the linky list.

This year, I am focusing on these words of Jesus:

 Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. – Luke 10:41b (ESV)

Normally, we look at this brief episode of Martha and Mary from the standpoint of our need to set aside time to sit at the feet of Jesus. To learn from Him. To simply gaze into His face. What we don’t usually address is the extraordinary courage it took for Mary to sit at His feet. Women just didn’t do this. Women just weren’t invited to partake of a rabbi’s teaching. I see Jesus calling Martha to a brave action. It wasn’t wrong for her to make sure that everyone was comfortable and that they were fed. It wasn’t wrong for her to be hospitable. But I think Jesus is telling Martha, in that moment, to let it go. He’s telling her to step out of what she knows and into the uncertainty. Into where He is.

Jesus could just as easily be saying:

Marie, Marie, you are anxious and troubled about many things.

And I think He’s calling me to brave action.

Join me for the next 31 days. Let’s explore together what it means to be brave.

My journey to faith. (15)

  For all of the posts in the 31 Days: Brave series, go here.