There is a lot of talk about courage going around. In America, we seem to label just about every act as bravery from waking up and drinking coffee to listening to NPR on our commute home. “She’s so brave to give up sugar for a month.” Hogwash, I say. We are so spoiled with independence and freedom in this country that most of us nary a clue what bravery and courage look like.
Surprisingly, in the majority of cases in this country, courage is not simply posting an article on Facebook or writing a dissenting comment or even participating in hashtag marketing. Courage is not marching along with a million others who think the same way you do to prove a point and fight for your cumulative rights. It is not an act of bravery to vote for a particular candidate in this country. Courage is not simply going to church on Sunday morning. Bravery is not jumping on a bandwagon of popular behaviors only to play the victim later. Living courageously is not complaining about how life isn’t fair. (It’s not, by the way.) And courage isn’t running off at the mouth and showcasing your outrage like your opinion is a badge of honor.
Today I read about a kind of courage that is rarely seen.
Courage walks into a room full of men who have the lawful right to throw stones at you. Courage willfully ignores calls for self-righteous justice as she marches toward the focus of her gaze. Courage owns and lays bare her sinful life in front of accusing eyes who choose to only see the sin of others. Courage falls to the floor and reaches to touch the one thing she has no right to even behold…the Son of God’s feet. Courage is broken enough to use her tears to wash away the dust of a day’s walk. Courage calls herself a sinner, announces humbly to the world her low place, repents to God, and then walks away from her old life. That is courage.
In an age where sin is acceptable and even glorified, perhaps what we desperately need to witness is a bravery that is seldom seen today. What we desperately need, friends, is to humble ourselves and recognize that either we own our sinfulness or we deny it. Either we look our true selves in the mirror or we sit in denial and point our fingers at others. Either we grab a stone to throw or we bow down and reach out to the Savior’s feet.
Be brave enough to bow.
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