The Cultivation of Character
“Be on guard, Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong” 1 Corinthians 16:13
“Moral Courage-The ability to do right in the face of opposition or discouragement.” Greg Laurie
The courage to face adversity and opposition is one of the most difficult types of courage to cultivate. Why is this so?
Because it only grows through the challenges of adversity.
As firefighters we risk our lives daily in numerous ways yet when it comes to having the courage to speak up for our beliefs we often shy away from the task.
To face the enemy known as fire we take a “calculated risk” based on our training, conditions, and resources available. Yet when we are faced with a moral dilemma we should remember to make our decision based on our faith, our core values, and the truth in God’s word.
To have moral courage is to “stand firm in the faith”. In order to develop this characteristic, one must sincerely believe. They stand firm, not because of their own strength, but because of their hope in Christ. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)
The challenge lies before you and it is no easy task:
Let us be clear and speak the truth in love. When you are confronted, persecuted, or ridiculed because of your faith do not speak to them as they did to you.
Remember, Jesus is our example. When he was mocked, cursed, spit on, and persecuted He did not respond with anger but with love.
This is the mark of true courage: To respond to hate with love, to answer ridicule with wisdom, to turn the opposition into a conversation, and to lead a conversation into a relationship.
The world may hurt us, betray us, but we can have hope that Jesus didn’t let that stop Him from loving us. He loved through the hurt.
Pray that God will give us courage to love others even when they hurt us. May your words be on our lips and may your strength be in our spirit for we cannot stand on our own without you.
We stand together in this fight with truth and suffer only because we trust in a God who has already won the victory for us.