Jesus was courageous. He expects his disciples to be the same
Courage to refuse. This courage enables us to avoid participating in sinful behavior. We are familiar with this concept. Even non-believers realize certain actions are off limits to Christians. God has said “Thou shall not” to many activities that provide temporary pleasure and social acceptance. The sincere Christian must have the courage to “Just say no” to those things God has forbidden.
Courage to give. This courage is necessary to take part in activities intended to help others. They are the “cup of cold water” activities that indicate we care for our fellow man. Sometimes such behavior brings ridicule, even from those with whom we worship in a local church. Our courage is tested when we feel led by the Spirit to lend a helping hand and we are told by other Christian that we are foolish or naive.
Courage to care. This courage allows us to have deep emotional concern for the spiritual welfare of others. We become concerned about their relationship with God. We are drawn into intercessory prayer. We agonize about their alienation from the Father. We may even become bold enough to give the unsaved a personal, verbal witness about our Savior.
The courage to refuse often becomes stronger as we grow older and form habits of obedient living.
The courage to give is sometimes strengthened because “Good Samaritan” actions bring praise from others.
But the courage to care remains elusive, demanding and difficult. We may pray for some lost people for years and never see any sign of change. Face-to-face witnessing will likely remain difficult when we are rebuffed or ridiculed. Jesus’ courage took him to the cross. Will we let ours take us across the street?