Courage or compromise?
By Pastor Doug Cox
“You know how badly we had been treated at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there. Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, in spite of great opposition.”
1 Thessalonians 2:2 (NLT)
An important element to the advancement of our faith, the reaching of important goals, overcoming obstacles and more is courage. Courageous men and women endure many difficulties and keep on keeping on. They pursue personal and spiritual ambitions and commitments to see their dreams fulfilled while others compromise their dreams often at the first sign of trouble or difficulty.
How thankful we should be for the men and women at the beginning of the Church who were so courageous. It’s so easy for us to take the gospel for granted and rest in the peace it brings us and forget the price that was paid for us to be able hear about it. It took courage for them to tell others about Christ in the face of very often, violent opposition. It took courage to say goodbye to love ones who disowned them for their newfound faith. It took courage to be ostracized by entire communities and often face death, all because of their faith, yet the did it.
Today, as Christians, we should recognize that courage is needed to live out our faith as well. What should we do if perhaps a boss pressures us to falsify information, or a peer group pressures us to participate in immoral or unethical behavior? What should we do when given the opportunity to share the light of the gospel? The scenarios to cave to the worldly ways or shine for Christ are endless but the answer to doing the right thing most always requires the same attitude. Be courageous!
There are two ways to live life. There is the easy way of taking shortcuts and living in compromise, but the greater way is to be courageous, to follow our God given convictions with perseverance. Courage makes it possible for us to stand up for what we believe even when it is unpopular. Courage will keep us moving forward while fear stops that forward movement. Courage leads to progress, and fear to paralysis. Courage will prove that problems that seem insurmountable are not. Courage puts feet to our faith. The Apostle Paul’s life proved that. Let’s follow his example!