Article by Walter Kahler
Courage is a byproduct of putting faith into action. By trusting Christ, we experience strength, not of our own and gain Christian confidence. This surety radiates the essence of living a saved life. Our steadfast reliance upon Christ gives us the greatest advantage in dealing with life’s ups and downs. The more we surrender ourselves to God, the better we are at facing anything and everything.
Christ demonstrated perfect courage when He was crucified. Judas betrayal of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane brought the world face to face with a kind of bravery never seen before. Our Messiah offered no resistance. Pontius Pilate gave the order to execute Christ and turned Him over to the Roman army. They inflicted Him with horrendous acts of physical mistreatments. Christ withstood all the torture they threw His way with dignity.
Christ’s example of facing man’s cruelty by being nailed to the cross is the greatest display of God’s powerfulness. If Jesus were able to die for our salvation then there is no reason for us to rebel. Our difficulties are minute compared to the burdens Jesus endured. By building a personal relationship with Christ, a whole new outlook upon life emerges. This unites us with God and eliminates the need to hold onto troubling circumstances. Freedom from the bondage of self only comes from salvation.
God created us with instincts for survival. One of those instinct is knowing the difference between a life threatening situation and the need of being accepted by others. Both circumstances generate fear. Recognizing one from the other is knowing how to identify their characteristics.
Let us take a look at some examples. The threat of being bitten from a poisonous snake is healthy because our life is in jeopardy, and this fear alarms us to the danger. However, on the other hand, when we feel troubled from being rejected from our fellows then our pride feeds us fear. So, one fear has to do with common sense and the other is all about self.
Self-centered fears are the main obstacle in the way of living courageously. This crippling emotional juggernaut permeates the human soul. When our spirits become consumed with unwarranted fears, there is no peace. The turbulence from living in constant worry keeps our connection with Christ at bay. This in return set us up for all sorts of unbalanced relations with others.
Now let us examine some common fears we all have. In the world, we live in it takes money to survive. We all know the struggles of making ends meet with our financial obligations. Here fear can run rampant causing us to make unwise decisions with money. Being afraid of financial insecurity solves nothing. Excessive worrying over money is exhausting and drains us physically, mentally and spiritually. There is a difference between being concerned and fearing finances.
Taking an honest look at our reaction to money issues will reveal our true motives. Here courage is required in accurately surveying our intentions on this unavoidable part of life. We cannot find the real facts of our spending habits without Christ’s aid. Having Christ as our financial advisor will provide us the wisdom to change our views about money. As a result, we begin to understand that no matter how distressful we become over money our trust in Christ will overcome our fears. This freedom from worrying leads to a partnership with our Messiah that strengthens our devotion with Him.
Letting go and letting Christ become our financial planner does not come without responsibility. We have to do our part and meet Him half way. Nor does it mean we will be debt free. God will provide us with a solution, but we will have to put His plan into action. Most often the answer has little to do with obtaining money and more about the strength necessary in dealing with the problem. Using courage under those conditions changes the jumbled up emotions associated with the conflict and serenity is added.
Another fear that has the tendency to put us in a frenzy is inadequacy. The feeling of not measuring up to others places us in situations that cause emotional insecurity. When we internalize the outward appearances of other’s with our own deficiencies we distance ourselves from the lessons Christ has provided for us to experience. This misconception of brotherhood is off the mark.
There is no reason to be afraid of others. We are here together for the purpose of living in God’s kingdom and in His house we are all equal. Christ does not concern Himself with man’s attributes but with our adherence to His commands. This type of behavior blinds us from God’s purpose for our own lives. This fear block us from accepting ourselves.
Living comfortably in our own skin, where we are able to measure up to others regardless of stature is living as Christ wants us to. It takes courage to move beyond our insecurities and bring something spiritual in the presence of others. Self-centered fear is lack of faith. The more willing we are in placing our trust in Christ, the better our Christian lives improve.
We have only discussed a few instances where Christian courage is prevalent. Courage to change is not limited to fear. There are many challenges in staying on the narrow way. Temptation is real and the strength in discarding it can only come from God. No matter what happens to us the most important thing is our readiness to restrain from the things preventing our adherence to Christ command.
_____Walter Kahler is an author with www.faithwriters.com