Last week I posted that the three characteristics the disciples possessed were "patience, courage, and love" according to John Chrysostom. I have already talked briefly about patience. I now want to talk about the one I personally struggle with the most: courage.
My Fear List
I have found in my own life that there are several things that frighten me. Maybe this is weird, but I have found it helpful to write down a list of things that terrify me. Here is my list and see if this any of these resonate with you at all:
Fear of people not liking me.
Fear of conflict.
Fear of the rejection of my work.
Fear of looking stupid.
Fear of not knowing the future.
Fear of not being able to get the outcome I want.
Fear of my loved ones being hurt.
Fear of messing up so badly I won't be able to recover.
Fear of failure.
For me, my greatest fears are mostly interpersonal. I don't want people to think poorly of me and I don't want to disappoint those around me. I want to succeed and look competent in what I do. I don't want to look like a failure.
Lessons I've Learned about Courage
I would not consider myself a courageous person at all. When I look at the apostles and what they faced and then I turn and look at my own set of problems, I feel kind of cowardly. Nevertheless, I've grown to accept that though I want to be more courageous, I am still where I am at right now. And knowing that I am scared and what I am scared of is half the battle. So here are some lessons I'm learning about courage:
How about you? What is your fear list? What lessons about courage are you learning? Post below!
Daniel Pandolph is co-founder of Ministry Assistant Services and founder of Theologian of the Boss. He holds a BA in Christian Studies from North Greenville University and an MA in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.