Reminders: Take Courage

Reminders: Take Courage

by Ardith Hoff

Courage has been defined as, “not the absence of fear, but being afraid and doing the difficult thing anyway.”  We all have our areas of fear, and we think that if we could just conquer our fears, we could do some great things.  If the above definition is true, being brave does not depend on our ability to conquer our fears, but on our willingness to do the fearsome thing in spite of our fears.

It has been reported that speaking in public is the number one fear of a great majority of people.  Most of us have worried about getting up in front of a group of people and completely forgetting what we wanted to say, or of saying something stupid and then regretting what we said. 

A friend, who was a college professor, told me that he often had vivid nightmares in which he would realize that he was in front of a class stark naked.  He would wake up sweating with his heart pounding.  The ironic thing is that he enjoyed teaching, and was always well dressed, and well prepared for his lectures.  The better prepared we are, the less we have to fear, not just about public speaking, but in every endeavor we undertake.

Some people are afraid to speak to other people about their faith.  They might be afraid that they will offend someone if they are from a different religious background.  They might be afraid other people will think they are being smug or judgmental when they talk about the need for everyone to know the “truth” that they believe in.  They might be afraid that people will not want to be friends with them if they come off as too, “holier than thou”.

All of these are legitimate concerns, and might in fact come true, but we can take courage from the reassurance that we are given in

2 Timothy 1:7: “For the Spirit of God does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”  Also, “Be strong and of good courage.  Do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you.” Deuteronomy 31:6   We also need to remember: “If God is with us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:21