Courage and Cowardice

I’d like to thank the speaker at our church this morning. On my blog of course, I keep the names secret normally, but he knows who he is and I’m going to do what I can to make sure he gets a copy of this, but he preached a fantastic sermon this morning. It was one that got a standing ovation and not just because our speaker has a great mind, but he showed he has a great heart as well.

Our speaker spoke about having courage and used Jeremiah 1:17-19 as his text. I was quite surprised though to hear him speak this way. I was sitting there thinking “What do you need it for? You’re only one of the best minds that our school has.” And yet, there is some timidity. It made me think of how Paul described himself as timid face-to-face but bold when away.

I pondered about myself as well and thought, “Some people would say the same thing to you about when you’re insecure.” Maybe it’s a trait of our personality type. I will not have much problem speaking before a crowd. I can be nervous beforehand, but when I’m up there, I’m fine. Doing a Q&A Panel, (Which I did last night and could blog on some questions we received) doesn’t bother me. If you wanted me to walk up to a complete stranger on the street and evangelize though, that’s terrifying.

So I’ll say it for everyone reading this. If you all pray for me any, pray that I will have courage as well and speak the Word of God with boldness as was prayed in Acts 4. For me many times, there is a battle to get control of emotions. Things are getting better though as I’m out more and having to face new experiences, but then being overwhelmed with Seminary work at times throws an extra hurdle in.

Our speaker also wanted to know if we were taking the Word of God seriously. I’ll admit many times this is a struggle. Meditation is a lost art and prayer is difficult. I think one thing that makes prayer so difficult today is that we have so much of this modern nonsense thrown in about hearing the voice of God and what you are to expect when you pray.

He mentioned loving your enemies as well and asked if we took this seriously and mentioned what some enemies had done recently. I won’t say what it was, but he was crying for awhile and I couldn’t blame him. It was such an odd moment. I wondered if I should rush up on stage then and there for awhile. I had no idea what to do. I watched his bride-to-be wondering if she would do anything and she was sitting there. I guess she knew better than the rest of us. No one did anything, but I believe that moment spoke more than the words that were said.

So what would I say to my friend?

I’d say I respect you more than you know and I feel honored that you have come to like me and know me also being the new guy around. I find that incredibly humbling. I wish you well in your soon coming marriage. (Hey! That proves you have some courage!) I hope when you get back that sometime we can get together and just chat. I think I could learn a lot from you, but then I’d just like to get to know you better on a friendly basis as well.

You’re a great guy my friend, and a model we should all emulate. May God bless you on your journey.

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