Courage means many things to many people.  To add to the confusion it’s not enough to say one person has courage, and another does not.  It’s not an all or nothing type of thing.  Sometimes we exhibit courage, and other times we are afraid.  But, regardless of your definition, or degree to which you have it, courage is still a human gift from God that needs to be exercised.

Although courage is hard to define, it might be best put into the category of exhibiting character in the face of challenge or opposition, that may even cause us harm or damage, but we feel is worth the cost.  In other words, it often implies doing or saying something that is not in favor, that is not popular, that goes against the grain.  It often implies personal risk, whether physical risk, emotional risk, or risk of being separated from the mainstream of society.

Courage means taking a stand when that stand may have little support, or even no support.  When an individual exhibits courage, they may, in fact, be alone.

Courage is often exhibited when the outcome of a decision or action is uncertain or unknown.  There are no guarantees things will work out favorable.  Courage is not for the feeble, or timid, or those who avoid every appearance of risk.

Courage is a God-given gift, but cannot reach it’s full potential without frequent exercise.  To some degree, everyone is gifted with courage, but it is often left unused, and withers over time.  To exhibit true courage requires the individual to overcome their ingrained fears and apprehensions, and stick to their convictions, without waver or compromise.

Courage is applauded and recognized, but generally only after the fact, and after the battle is already over.  In some cases, personal courage is only recognized after one dies.  For some reason (known only to God) we must wait until a person is no longer with us to truly recognize their courage, ability, or character.

Courage is not about forcefully exerting one’s will, or domination.  It is not about boasting or arrogance.  It is also not blind.  Courage is about making the tough decisions that we have been entrusted with.  Generally, the decisions are hard, having no easy answers, but they must be made.

The most difficult examples of courage are not when our decisions go against popular opinion.  Those are tough, but the tougher examples of courage are when we must be willing to put our own beliefs, and personal risk, on the line.  Win or lose.  For that to occur one must master their own fears, apprehensions, and reservations.  That is the toughest of all.  One can face down 10,000 opposers, and exhibit courage, but to face one’s own fears and apprehensions may take all the strength we possess.

Don’t be fooled.  If courage was easy everyone would be doing it.  But, courage belongs to the brave, and they are few in number.  I encourage you to exercise your ‘courage muscle’…

One Response to “Courage”

  1. Barbara L. McGuire Says:

    Never thought much about courage but this blog will make one think twice! Excellent! Blessings….

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