Last week I issued a challenge to embrace this new year with courage, trust, open expectations, honesty, vulnerability, forgiveness, friends, vision, love and following the path that God has outlined for you. In the upcoming weeks, we will focus on the list of ten individually. Courage is the first one on the list, Webster’s online dictionary defines it as “the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous.” Keeping in line with the challenge I offer a different point of view to consider in 1 Peter 2 11-17 “ Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul, Live such good lives among the pagans that though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live us Free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil: live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God honor the emperor. Let’s also consider 1 Peter 3 1-6 “ Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your own husband so that, if any of them do not believe the word of God, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives, Your beauty should not come from outward adornments such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughter if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. “I imagine if you are reading this that you are bit surprised by the two scripture passages selected. I would like to start a conversation about courage. The way God views courage versus the world view. I submit that it takes great courage to stay in situations where you are treated unfairly, and still regain your character and integrity without conforming to hate, bitterness and the longing for revenge. In the two-scripture passage above this is exactly what God is asking us to do as believers. The word of God states for us to live as God’s slaves and to our moral human sensibilities this is absurd, we are free but how many of us know that true freedom came at a price. Our Savior gave His life for ours paid for it with blood. The cost we pay as believers is to live a life that honors Christ. To live such a life takes courage; submitting to the authority of people that we deem are incapable of providing proper leadership. And yet they are placed in leadership roles, this is not a surprise to God. Yet and still our Father asks us to submit. It takes great courage to not allow the fears of the world to outweigh our faith in God because in our weakness He is strong. Courage to admit that we need God’s guidance daily. Courage to stand for righteousness and not compromise. True courage is asking for help and understanding that as believers we are totally dependent on God.
Do you have the courage to follow the word of God?