Be Strong and Courageous

Have I not commanded you? 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 (NIV)

It is sometimes hard to put my jumbled up random thoughts and musings into words. There are a lot of things that I think about over the course of the day, and blogging has given me an outlet to try to organize these thoughts and put them into words. Recently, I have been thinking along the lines of sorting though life’s issues through the lens of a Christian perspective, and what that means for each of us. For some reason, I have a tendency to speculate over some of the most complex questions going on in society. A good recent example of that is the topic of transgenderism. I do not feel equipped yet to speak in depth about this issue, but I’ve spent hours watching videos and reading articles relating to this topic. I’ve even begun keeping up with the TV reality show, Becoming Us, which is a TV show about a transgendered dad. Some people may find it odd that I spend so much time on topics that don’t immediately relate to me. “Why do I do this?” You may ask. I suppose my reply, is why not? Why not go about understanding current issues in the society we live in the through the eyes of Jesus? I believe that part of living in the world while not being of the world, involves trying to understand people and walking alongside them in unique quests to lead them to God. Doing so involves what I’ve decided to label the three C’s. Courage, Conviction, and Compassion. I’d like to elaborate on each one and give my thoughts on what they should mean for us, as Christians

Courage. Let’s be honest. Being a Christian in today’s world takes courage. It takes courage to hold views that may not be mainstream. It takes courage to explain your thoughts and opinions to those that may disagree. It takes courage to try to find answers where there seem to be none. I think we all need to understand what we believe, why we believe it, and how we can apply this knowledge to real life. At times, we may even need to have courage amongst other Christians. Courage to look at an issue that brings knee-jerk reactions to many of your fellow believers. This is a courage that we can only obtain from God, who gives us the wisdom to muddle through life’s big questions. Which brings me to C #2.

Conviction. As Christians, our one source of truth is the Bible. When looking at new information from psychology websites and news articles, it’s important that we make sure it lines up with the Bible. I don’t think we should fear scientific studies and psychological research, as truth in life will always point back to God. In modern society, the Bible has gotten somewhat of a bad name. People say that it’s outdated, but I’ve come to find the exact opposite. Many things in the Bible speak into current issues in society. And I believe that even the most complex problems can be solved with the wisdom of God’s Word. Nonetheless, we can’t be effective witnesses with just the first two C’s. We also need the third C, one commonly demonstrated by Jesus during his time on earth.

Compassion. Anyone can preach words out of the Bible. Nonetheless, it will mean nothing if we don’t have compassion and love for hurting people. 1 Corinthians 13:2 says “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” This verse is along the same lines as a popular For King & Country song, likely based after this passage, called The Proof of Your Love. To have compassion is more than just giving your view on an ethical issue. This is walking with people living that issue. Christians can preach all day long on things like homosexuality and abortion but until we’re willing to walk alongside people in those situations, no one will see what Christianity and God’s love truly looks like.

Here’s a song by Christian singer, Josh Wilson that beautifully illustrates the point of this blog post. It’s called I Refuse.

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