A wise and timely sermon in Great Missenden Church this morning from Rosie, our Vicar, in her series about Neglected Christian Virtues, about Courage.
Courage is a matter of the heart — the ability to see things clearly as they are, not the absence of fear, but rising above it. If we are going to be salt and light in the world, we need to engage with things as they are. This means being real and learning how to embrace conflict, cherishing our freedom to speak without being destructive. If we fail to rise to this challenge, we shrink back from community and cease to connect with anyone outside our own particular churchy bubble. We need faith to believe God's promises, and then courage to act on that faith.
The interesting fact is you don't get God's strength in one great encouraging dollop then, when all the ducks are in a line, the courage to act. It is by acting we actually develop the courage to act. Aristotle says “we become brave by doing brave acts.” Psalm 37 says “Wait on the Lord. be of good courage and (then) he will strengthen your heart.” This isn't a discussion starter (though you could have an interesting discussion about it). It's an invitation to get on with it and start living courageously by grace through faith made real!