Christianity Requires Courage

There is plenty of courage among us for the abstract, but not enough for the concrete because we allow our daily bits of bravery to evaporate.

Helen Keller

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to talk about the virtues of Christian living? When we are in the safe and friendly environment of our church buildings, it is easy to talk about things like faithfulness, courage and undying devotion. When we are surrounded by the support of strong Christian brothers and sisters, we can easily imagine our having the faith of Abraham, the courage of David, the devotion of Ruth. Then we leave our places of worship and go out into the real world - and what do we find?

We find that the real world does not operate on theory - it must be lived.

When Jesus was with his disciples at the last supper, he told them that they would abandon Him. To a man, the apostles stated that they would die with Jesus rather than ever deny Him. It was easy to be courageous when they were in the cozy upper room, surrounded by allies and in the presence of Jesus.

Then came the test. (Have you ever noticed that life always comes with tests?) Evil men came to arrest Jesus. There were a lot of them. They had swords. Some of the apostles wanted to fight back with swords, but Jesus stopped them. Jesus did not come into this world for a sword fight - He came into the world to save it. When the apostles realized that Jesus was not going to vanquish the enemy in the way they thought, they did what you and I often do. They abandoned their theories of courage and faithfulness. And they ran away.

Have you ever run away when your Christian faith was tested? I have. More times than I care to remember. The point of all of this is not to suggest that we will never fail - the point is to determine what we will do after we have failed. For Christianity was never designed to merely discuss in the abstract, it was designed for living. And... Christian living requires courage.

If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.

Isaiah 7:9, NIV