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Courage


In my whole life, one of the people whom I have admired most was a big Scotsman by the name of Craig. Actually, I don't know that he was even that "big", but he always seemed a bit bigger to me because of his courage.

One day, a crazed Indian entered our compound in India, waving a machete around and making threats. Craig simply marched up to him, reached out, and took the machete away. Craig's confidence had totally disarmed the man, and he offered no resistance.

This was not just an isolated incident. Craig was fearless, and as a consequence, everyone tended to fear him... although I never once saw him behave violently toward anyone.

Craig explained how he had come by this courage. He said that his father had always taught him to meet his fears head-on. If something frightened him, then that was where Craig would have to go, in an effort to drive the fear away. He developed the habit of doing it almost instinctively.

I still believe that love is the greatest Christian attribute. (Indeed, Craig has left our community in bitterness and still continues to fight against us and God.) But our love is not likely to find much practical expression without faith; and courage is just another word for faith in action... faith meeting fear head-on.

There are those who wonder why so many of our members have donated kidneys to people dying of kidney disease. Yet, if we asked all of these critics whether they would like to be able to help save the life of someone dying from kidney disease, they would most likely say yes. In other words, there is nothing unusual about people wanting to save someone's life. The difference, of course, comes when one is confronted with the discomfort and slight risk of a surgical operation. And that's where courage comes in.

The reason Jesus Christians are more likely to volunteer for such a task is because we have already faced a number of other fears head-on: the fear of starving to death, the fear of what people think, the fear of being deceived by the devil. This fear of a little pain after an operation is just one more hurdle along the way... and not nearly as big a hurdle when you face it standing up, as it is when one lies on the ground in fear looking up at it.

Courage turns theoretical faith into practical action. St. James said that even the devils have (theoretical) faith; but their faith doesn't "work" because it lacks courage. (James 2:19)

Long live courage!

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In my whole life, one of the people whom I have admired most was a big Scotsman by the name of Craig. Actually, I don't know that he was even that "big", but he always seemed a bit bigger to me because of his courage.

 

One day, a crazed Indian entered our compound in India, waving a machete around and making threats. Craig simply marched up to him, reached out, and took the machete away. Craig's confidence had totally disarmed the man, and he offered no resistance.

 

This was not just an isolated incident. Craig was fearless, and as a consequence, everyone tended to fear him... although I never once saw him behave violently toward anyone.

 

Craig explained how he had come by this courage. He said that his father had always taught him to meet his fears head-on. If something frightened him, then that was where Craig would have to go, in an effort to drive the fear away. He developed the habit of doing it almost instinctively.

 

I still believe that love is the greatest Christian attribute. (Indeed, Craig has left our community in bitterness and still continues to fight against us and God.) But our love is not likely to find much practical expression without faith; and courage is just another word for faith in action... faith meeting fear head-on.

 

There are those who wonder why so many of our members have donated kidneys to people dying of kidney disease. Yet, if we asked all of these critics whether they would like to be able to help save the life of someone dying from kidney disease, they would most likely say yes. In other words, there is nothing unusual about people wanting to save someone's life. The difference, of course, comes when one is confronted with the discomfort and slight risk of a surgical operation. And that's where courage comes in.

 

The reason Jesus Christians are more likely to volunteer for such a task is because we have already faced a number of other fears head-on: the fear of starving to death, the fear of what people think, the fear of being deceived by the devil. This fear of a little pain after an operation is just one more hurdle along the way... and not nearly as big a hurdle when you face it standing up, as it is when one lies on the ground in fear looking up at it.

 

Courage turns theoretical faith into practical action. St. James said that even the devils have (theoretical) faith; but their faith doesn't "work" because it lacks courage. (James 2:19)

 

Long live courage!

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