By Jani Rubery
One day I was in London walking back to my office having gone out to grab some lunch. By the time I was on my return journey it was pouring with rain and I had not taken an umbrella because when I left the sun was shining.
As I was passing a bus stop I heard an unusual sound behind me so I turned around and I saw a young teenage boy running down the street. He was dark skinned, wearing typical clothes for his age – t-shirt, hoody and jeans.
He was crying and looked very distraught. As he got to the bus stop he stopped and without a thought I asked him if he needed help. He told me that some boys had stolen his phone and he had managed to run from them before they caused him any more harm. I asked if he needed to use my phone to call anyone and he declined, saying that he was going to get on the bus to get home. As I spoke to him I could feel him calming. I prayed for him and stayed with him in the rain until he got on the bus.
When I told my colleagues and family what I did I had mixed responses – either that was courageous or crazy! Was I courageous or crazy? I don’t know either – but what I know is that when we do acts of courage we do them because we are sure of what we believe, and stand for, and where our lines in the sand are drawn.
Courage is a subjective concept. What may seem courageous to one person seems crazy to another. This is the joy of us all being created differently, having different life experiences – but all in the image of our loving God.
At that moment my value around ‘justice for all’ overrode any rational thinking that may have arisen. I responded to my heart – not my mind. I read a quote recently that helped me make sense of this moment. “The root of the word courage is cor – to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” (Bene Brown)
I think we live courageously when our hearts and minds are connected so deeply that when we need to speak up, act out or blog it, courage happens without question. If we are sure of our values, then when those moments arise, when we have to look differently, act differently, speak differently, we will do so without listening to the gremlin voice which says, ‘I shouldn’t, I can’t, I am not allowed, I won’t be liked.’ These are all blockages to us having courageous moments. How do we overcome these gremlin voices?
The gremlin voices come from fear, However, we still do the right thing in spite of our fear because we are strong in who we are as followers of Christ and we believe we have power in His name. We can overcome fear through the strength our faith gives us. We are commanded not to just be courageous but to BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS.
“But Christ, the faithful Son, was in charge of the entire household. And we are God’s household, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.” (Hebrews 3:6 NLT)
“Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong.” (1 Cor 16:13 NLT)
“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid of them! The Lord your God will go ahead of you. He will neither fail you for forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 LWT)
“Be strong and courageous, for you will lead my people to possess all the land I swore to give their ancestors. Be strong and very courageous. Obey all the laws Moses gave you. Do not turn away from them, and you will be successful in everything you do.” (Joshua 1:6-7 LWT)
“…Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you…” (1 Ch 28:20 LWT)
“Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side!” (2 Chronicles 32:7 LWT)
Be strong – rooted in who we are in Christ, rooted in our values, rooted in who we are created to be. Then we can rid ourselves of those gremlin voices and can BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS in order to bring His kingdom into our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces and nations!
Jani Rubery is a freelance professional trainer, coach and consultant. She has worked extensively with organisations in the UK and the USA.