Sunday, September 18, 2011

The 3 Imperatives of Courage

Kingly virtue separates the happy, successful and thankful from the also-ran in each of us that runs in fear when challenge springs its inevitable surprise. Courage is the panacea making life better than a dream.

There are at least three imperatives facilitating courage:

1. Seek Truth

Our first task on the journey to courage is to seek truth—that is, to be rigidly committed to finding and adhering to it.

This may not be easy other than to decide and act that way with no correspondence (with ourselves or influential others to the contrary) to be entered into. Wisdom, however, must always temper truth allowing love to season the truth in pleasantness if it can be afforded.

When we deal at truth we remove many unnecessary complexities; variables that have the nature of convoluting life, engendering fear, commonly through anxiety, worry or even aggressive emotion. Such complexities cloud our thinking and feeling.

Seeking truth is objectivity and the removal of bias, particularly self-bias. We underestimate just how self-protected we are, or how much we bend truth to suit our circumstances and personalities. Truth, as Jesus said, will set us free (John 8:32).

2. Know What to Fear And How to Handle It

Courage is not experienced despite fear; it is experienced because of fear. Fear is a necessary component in the expression of courage.

It is a vast wisdom to know what to fear and how to handle it. We see, here, that wisdom is both a complement and a supplement to courage.

There are two components to this imperative: knowledge regarding what is appropriate to be feared, and the skill to be able to handle those fears (implicitly, in courage). Truth, as we covered above, is prerequisite. Without the ability to discern the truth we have little chance of discerning right fear from wrong.

When we have both the knowledge and skill required to negotiate appropriate fear we have the capacity to deal with every situation life can throw at us.

3. Resolve to Be (Always) Decisively Courageous

Having the God-blessed ability to seek truth and to know what to fear and how to handle it provides the platform for deciding for courage.

Resilience is implied by this third imperative. There will be many temptations to submit in the wrong sort of fear; in truth, it will be a constant threat and we might be given to frequent buckling. Resilience, however, sees to it that we don’t ultimately give up.

Resolve makes undeniably sure that each moment is blessed by the new belief; the commitment of courage. It is faithfulness beyond compromise.


Courage is made possible when we seek truth, know what to fear and how to handle it, and when we have the resolve to be decisively courageous in the moment.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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