I’m not brave. You’ll never see me swinging from a bungee cord or jumping out of an airplane. Recently our neighbors took us to a hiking spot they like (especially the husband) by their cabin. “Here’s the shortcut!” he announced, pointing to a steep, high precipice. “Oh no, said I, shaking my head.” But going with his promise that it was just a short distance ( he must have just forgotten how far it really was!), I agreed to climb.
Everyone else used their hiking sticks and stayed erect, but I, I climbed up practically on my hands and knees, grasping for branches and protruding rocks. After all, you can’t fall if you’re already down!
No, I am not brave. But God wants us to be brave. Fortunately, not necessarily the kind of brave that is willing to climb where only mountain goats should tread, but the kind of brave that involves character.
Second Timothy 1:7 says, For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but one of power, love, and self-discipline.
An interesting pursuit is to do a study of timidity and cowardice in the Bible, and its woeful effects!
So what’s so bad about not being brave? Well, it is cowardice that lures us to say yes when we should say no, and to say no when we should say yes. Timidity gives us permission to avoid conflict, to care too much what people think, to ignore what should be addressed.
By the way, here is a picture of our wonderful neighbors who coaxed us to go up that steep mountain, and this is where we ended up. It’s kind of a picture of the reward of reaching for the strength that only God can give. It results in a special kind of sparkle!