What is your New Year’s resolution? How about mastering COURAGE

Courage-girl with bearHere is a trivia question for you.  If someone asked you to guess the most repeated command in the Bible, what would you say?

Love people?  That would certainly seem a good bet.  Obey God?  Seems a safe choice.  Maybe something about giving money, abstaining from sex, praying more, or attending church?  It has to be in one of these categories right?

You would think, but it’s not.

Though all of those are important topics addressed by the Bible, they are not associated in any way with the most repeated command in the Bible. God’s most frequently repeated instruction is formulated in two simple words:

“Fear not.”

Wow, would you have guessed that?  I didn’t.

Interestingly, the command to “fear not” is repeated in the Bible 365 times – once for every day of the year.  Obviously there’s something pretty significant about the limiting power of fear, and by contrast, the expansive power of courage.

There is a human tendency to mistakenly believe that some people are just born courageous, and then there is everyone else. That is just not true! Courage is the result of conscious choices, and is greatly enhanced by a life of vibrant faith.

I am going to spend the next couple of weeks blogging on courage, faith, and fear. Courage is one of the most essential human virtues, and I could make a convincing case that it is at the top of the list of most indispensable qualities for those who want to step into the life that God has created us for.

I hope the content of these posts become as transformational for you as they have been for me. Until then, here are some of my very favorite quotes on courage and fear. Hopefully these will inspire you as we all step into a new year together!

“Our problem is not to be rid of fear but, rather to harness and master it.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but moving forward despite your fears.” — Dr. John Perkins, Founder of the Christian Community Development Association

“Fear and love are enemies. These two spirits will not hold the same place together. Love and fear are like light and dark…fresh water and salt water…blessing and cursing. And one of them has to win.” — Danny Silk, “Building a Culture of Honor”

“For many of us the boundary of our range of action is determined by our ultimate fears… and our fears often remain hidden (even from ourselves) right up to the very moment when we must act.” — Gary Haugen (Founder of International Justice Mission), “Just Courage”

“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” — Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 14.27

“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” –Maya Angelou

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” — Nelson Mandela 

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” — God, Joshua 1.9

And finally, a poem from one of my heroes, Dr. Marian Wright Edelman:

O God, grant us Your vision in our time

Help us to write it so large that even a runner can see it.

Make it so compelling that even a cynic will pause,

so convincing that a skeptic will risk trying to bring hope to others,

and so inspiring that the committed will stand courageously in faith,

leaving the results to you.

10 responses to “What is your New Year’s resolution? How about mastering COURAGE”

  1. Thank you for the inspiring word. The poem is beautiful -loved it!

    1. Thanks Brigitte =) You know how much I love Dr. Wright Edelman!

  2. Thanks for the en-courage-ment, friend… it seems to me that you have the great gift of encouragement. You have always been that to me & I appreciate it… it is empowering! So, I am courageously working on my NY goals/post now… again, thank you!

  3. Dear Daniel,
    Happy New Year’s Blessings

    Philippians 4:12-13
    I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

    For me the secret of contentment lies in having the courage to face reality for what it is… only then can an effort be made to move from it onto something better. So many people focus on a vision of what they wish the reality was, Denying the circumstances that they presently occupy. How many of us have the fear of exposure and spend our efforts toward covering up those dark bits of life that we don’t want known. We operate with a game face, not our own face. it becomes all about the image we want seen… but that image is an illusion. There is no substance from which to build. No matter how many times you change an illusion, it’s still not real. When work is applied to change what is, a new reality is created, and it’s always real. While we may risk failure, we also invite success. That’s why the first step has to be courage.

    Thank’s for giving us these seeds. It will be interesting to see the developments to come.

  4. Thanks for the comment Matt

  5. […] explored in the last post, the most repeated command in the Bible is “fear not.” At first glance that might seem […]

  6. […] have done a couple of posts already on courage and fear, and what Mandela points to here is one of the priceless principles for […]

  7. […] great faith and great courage (what I’ve been blogging on for the past week) come only from cementing ourselves to Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday […]

  8. […] I’ve thought a lot about, and something I’ve been writing on lately (see previous posts here). It’s not one of the virtues I group up possessing in high quantities, so I’ve […]

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