One of my daily readings includes The Denison Forum, written by Jim Denison. While I don’t always agree with everything he writes, his posts are most often thought-provoking and worth the read. This morning he quoted CS Lewis: “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” Mulling that over, it seemed to be a good point.
I moved on to my next devotional reading, Daily Living for Seniors, which dealt with overcoming fear. It used 2 Timothy 1.7 as its springboard:” For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” and quoted Gen George Patton: “I have learned early in my life never to take counsel of my fears.” Hm. There’s a pattern here.
My final reading was from the book of Ruth, in Quiet Walk. Her mother-in-law instructed her to lie at the feet of Boaz after he’d finished with his food and wine and merry-making. I think Ruth was a courageous woman. She showed it when she chose to follow Naomi to a foreign land. She chose courage when she followed Naomi’s instructions to glean in Boaz’s field. I think it took enormous courage to obey Naomi and lie at the feet of a man whom she hoped to marry.
So, yeah: I think CS Lewis was right in that courage is the form of every virtue at the testing point. If we want to live as Christ lived, we must first believe that what He says is true: He will be with us, protect us, and love us always. When prompted by the Spirit, we must believe it to be true. Then, we must step out in courage to obey Him. Sometimes that path is easy and we find immediate reward. Sometimes the path is full of rocks, gullies, mud, and darkness. It’s scary. In my life, instances of asking forgiveness from someone have been the most knee-knocking. But it comes down to obedience. God’s Holy Spirit impels me to the act: does it take courage to follow through? I simply know that I will have no peace until I obey. God always blesses obedience. It’s worth the heart palpitations to just do it