Friday, August 22, 2014

Step Into Bravery

I'm convinced courage and bravery aren't character traits.  I don't think they just come naturally. Yes, some individuals just seem to have a larger dose shot into their DNA. But how did they get it? Where does it come from? And what do these two words even mean?

Both bravery and courage are acts of valor and imply a certain strength and fearlessness. However there is a slight difference between the two words.

Courage comes from the French word coeur, meaning heart. It is a quality of character that allows someone to carry through with a difficult premeditated plan of action. “Physical courage” is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, or death, while “moral courage” is the ability to act justly in the face of opposition, shame, or scandal.

Bravery, on the other hand, comes from the Spanish word bravado, meaning a single or spontaneous act of valor. It is not planned, but rather a knee-jerk reaction that often occurs within a crisis.

Courage is the decision to be brave.

Did you hear that? It is a decision, a choice.
And if I may add... a decision that is not always easy to make. You can't choose to be brave while you have your head in the clouds chasing other things and you can't expect it just to come. Soldiers have to be brave! They have to be focused. And bravery doesn't just come in the spur of the might be a reaction in a crisis, but there is a choice. Be brave or run another direction.

"...God-courage doesn't just come. It doesn't casually slide into our life while we are busy chasing other things. It comes by one choice today to be brave. And then another brave choice tomorrow. And then, the next time the hard choice comes around, we find we have the courage to make it. But we have to choose that first time." #IWantGod

God-courage may be residing in my heart, but it doesn't become bravery until I stop looking around everywhere else and make the decision to act. It is a decision I have to make. I have to make the first step.

It's a choice like not watching that television show the rest of the family thinks is ok, but defiles the principles you are trying to teach your children. It's that choice to close your eyes in the middle of a crowded restaurant to say a blessing over your meal. It's big choices. It's little choices. But it IS a choice. And until we make the choice that first time... we can NEVER make the step into bravery. And if we don't make the step, we can't accept the challenges that God-courage affords us to endure.

Oh may we choose bravery today! Become a warrior running into battle with bravery rather than chasing other things that never allow you to win the heart of a courageous warrior. Make the first step. Make it today, make it tomorrow. Create a momentum and roll with it.


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