When I was a kid, my dad often quoted his father, saying: “There are things in life you don’t want to do, but you do them because they need to be done.” I like to call it reluctant courage. Both my father and grandfather seemed to know something that I didn’t as a kid, and would always say this line with a little grin. It was as though they had a secret that I was bound to discover if I would simply press past my reluctance and have courage. For some reason, the smile, coupled with the twinkle in their eyes, always encouraged me to persevere.
At the time, I had no idea that my Grandfather had excellent credentials for saying what he said. He had lived by these words from a very young age. When he was just 7 years old, his father died suddenly. These circumstances forced him to grow up fast and he dropped out of school in 8th grade to support his family. He later went on to complete his college degree as an adult. I can’t help thinking that courage had a lot to do with the choices he made.
Although you and I don’t share the same story as my grandfather, we face opportunities every day where we can quit or have courage. Courage doesn’t have to be pretty. In fact, more often than not it’s messy and full of unwelcome surprises. Learning to do hard things isn’t just about laundry, finishing school, or showing up to work on time, it’s about the transformation of our character. The apostle James encourages us with this:
Persevering under trial has the opportunity to transform our character as we submit ourselves to Christ. I’m confident that we will see our motives refined, our relationships improved, and our love deepened. But are we willing to live a life of courage?
It’s okay to be reluctant. It’s okay to have fear. Choose courage anyway!
How are you facing your life with courage today?
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