The Forgotten Virtue

Posted: October 9, 2012 in Spiritual Growth
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When we think of people that are good, usually we picture someone who is chaste, reverent, and well behaved. I don’t know if it’s because ask kids we were taught to stay quiet, to pay attention, and to do what we’re told, or what. Of course, gentleness, the ability to listen, and the ability to obey are all excellent qualities that we want in increasing measure. However, I wonder if our families, schools, and churches have so feared the freedom of individuals, that we have not encouraged people to excel in the virtue of boldness.

Usually boldness is equated with obnoxiousness. We say, “How dare you be so bold as to…” We mistake boldness for pigheadedness. Boldness marries truth with love. Pigheadedness possesses neither truth nor love. When I look at the early church, I see a church that prayed together. They asked for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Their prayer meetings almost always resulted in speaking the word of God boldly. Along with peace, joy, and love came boldness.

Jesus said, “I come not to bring peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34).” Ouch. But Jesus, what about “Peace on earth good will toward men?” Well, Jesus said that the kind of peace he offers is not the kind of peace that the world promises (John 14:27). The kind of peace that Jesus offers is not flower-child peace, but it is a gritty kind of peace, the kind of peace that pierces like a sword. It is powerful peace.

Sometimes I get kind of tired of talking about our struggles as Christians. We struggle with sin, we struggle with trusting God, we struggle with our relationships. Somewhere along the line, I thought were more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). You see, we are not just defined by the things that we have conquered like a former substance abuser or one who has conquered sexual sin. No, we are more than that. It’s time we got on to the “more than” part of conquering. It is time we got on the offense.

So many of us are over fed and under empowered. We reserve super holy stuff for the men and women who are paid to be super holy. We are so used to our old boundaries that we stay within them, not thinking that there is much more.

I had a dream once that I was trying to keep some kind of bugs off of me. I was trying to trap them in a trash can at church and run away. Another lady I knew was going after these bugs. She not only helped get them off me, but she went after them even in the trash can. She kept searching for more as if to say, “Go ahead, make my day!” This dream really spoke to me of how I was in error. I thought it was good enough to keep evil away from myself, to keep my distance from the bugs. What I lacked was the confidence and holy boldness to completely annihilate the entire bug population. I wasn’t thinking about others, only myself. You see, getting into the trash to kill bugs is messy and unpleasant. But if you don’t want to have a major problem on your hands, someone has got to do it. Someone has to roll up their sleeves and go on the offense. When it boiled down to it, in this dream, I only cared about me. My cowardice was proof of my self-centeredness.

The next time you are temped to shrink back instead of taking your God given authority in Jesus Christ, think about this. What is at stake if you don’t take your stand? What people will remain in ignorance and bondage? What piece of spiritual meat do you have that spiritually starving people need?

Holy boldness is a willingness to risk rejection from some for the sake of others who would be made whole. You may have a very loud opposing party, but you may have a quiet, but even larger supporting party that will directly benefit from you willingness to risk it all.

“Therefore since we have such a hope, we are very bold.” (2 Corinthians 3:12)

So, where are you? Are you on the defensive team or are you bold enough to take then offense?

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