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Tag: Joshua 1:9

lion in den

Courage is a Habit

decorated hero

The 1980s knew how to create a feel-good movie. The actors and actresses might have had cheesy hair and strange clothing styles and makeup, but iconic films, like Back to the FutureGoonies, and The Karate Kid, left viewers cheering and feeling on top of the world as they left the theatres. This summer, the movie, Maverick, brought back the same feeling and topped the movie charts because of it.

We love to cheer for the underdog as Daniel-son balanced on his injured leg to take out his opponent with a jumping front snap kick. Our fists pumped when the housekeeper poured out Mouth’s marble bag filled with precious gems and exclaimed in Spanish, no sell, and the contract to redevelop their neighborhood was torn in two. We loved watching our heroes who dug deep and found the courage to overcome their fear and defeat the villain.

In books and movies, there’s a moment when the hero comes to grips with the realization that he is the one who must save the day. He then pulls out the courage to win, and the movie resolves. Courage, however, isn’t a switch that turns on and off, and it isn’t something that strikes us in a moment. Courage is a habit.

lion in den

Like how working out creates muscle, so too must we build our courage. It can start small and build over time. David began with a slingshot in a field against wild animals, like bears and lions, before he versed a giant. Daniel asked his superior if he and his friends could go against regulation and only eat vegetables before progressing to the lion’s den. Peter decided to obey a stranger standing on the shore and toss his fishing net over the side of the boat after a fruitless night of fishing. He later boldly proclaimed Jesus as God’s Son, and religious officials crucified him.

Another crucial component is determining in advance what our reactions will be. Courage is a mindset. We need to decide to stand up and do what is right before we even come across a person in need, see a burning building, or are asked to do something or go somewhere that would be unwise. If we wait until we’re in the heat of the moment when the boyfriend’s hands are moving up the shirt, friends are saying just try it, or a boss asks us to manipulate the numbers, temptation will be whispering, it’s okay, and pressure will draw us down a dark path. If we decide our responses in advance, we’ll be less likely to be led in a direction we don’t want to go.

Start a habit of courage.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Beaver swimming

Leave it to Beavers

You may be thinking I have some sort of fascination with animals that start with the Beaver swimmingletter B. I’ve talked about buffalos, bears, and now beavers. If I do a blog on badgers, I will admit I have a problem. Actually, a friend of mine, Michelle, was asking me about my writing. When I told her I was getting a little discouraged, she smiled and announced that I need to be a beaver.

What?

It turns out beavers secrete an oil which acts as an insulator and waterproofing agent. Not only does water roll off their back, but they are shielded from the elements. They also have a flexible toe to pull out any burrs and parasites that worm their way in through the protective layer of fur.

In addition, their ears have valves which close to prevent water from getting in when they are submerged. Their eyes have a nictitating membrane which helps them to see clearly underwater. Beavers pair for life and have strong social bonds, surviving together as a group. And, don’t forget their wide, flat tails which act as a rudder for steering.

So, be a beaver. When negative thoughts worm their way in, pluck them out before they take hold. Let rejection roll off you like water off a beaver’s back. Plug your ears to doubt and criticism and hone in on the sound of God’s voice. See clearly by keeping focused on the one who created and planned your future. Use God’s word as a rudder to steer you in the right direction. And, if or when you do get down, get around people who will pull you out of the pit of discouragement and help you to stay the course.

Joshua 1:9 commands us, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” God has given us the abilities we need to do His will. We are stronger than we realize when we lean on Him.

Impressed by the beaver yet? Well, here’s another fact. Beavers are one of the few Beaver damspecies that change their environment to suit them. By building dams, they flood the surrounding area to modify the land for their purposes instead of adapting to suit the location.

And so should we. We are to live in the world but not be of the world. When we feel like caving to societal pressure, being lured down an easy path, or conforming to the norm, remember God made us to stand out. We were created to make a difference for His kingdom. We are to be the salt and light to a dark world. We are to shine as a city on a hill that cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:13-16).

So go ahead and start building a dam. Someday you’ll wake up to waterfront property.

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