Bravery is not overrated.
I love watching movie scenes of heroes risking everything to save others. Something in those scenes speaks to something deep inside me. I long to make a difference, I’d like to be sacrificial, I want to be brave.
There is a fine line however, in many of those movies, between bravery and stupidity. When the hero risks his life and blows things up because it is his job, or in order to be macho, what we see is glorified stupidity. When the heroic actions do not bring about any glory to the person, but is a true sacrifice for others, what we see is bravery. It is easy to be stupid. Bravery seems to require something else.
Beer, hormones, pride, youth, ignorance, insecurity, something to prove or nothing else better to live for might comprise an ingredient list for stupidity. But who has the clear list for bravery? I want that list. Or I think I do.
Bravery, true bravery requires something that stupidity does not: an opportunity to be brave. You can be stupid anytime, but you can really only be brave when a situation allows it.
When an opportunity for bravery comes, our true self is exposed. Do we have fear or faith? Is our character going to crumble, or remain steadfast? Do we make excuses, or make something happen?
Often the biggest excuse preventing bravery is to not wanting to look stupid. Sacrifice however is never stupid, and it takes great bravery to sacrifice.
What will you do the next time an opportunity for bravery presents itself? I am convinced that we will not make great big brave choices until we make consistent little brave choices. Truth telling, personal integrity, and faith building disciplines help sharpen our character and prepare us to be heroic. We cannot let fear deter us, we must begin to make little changes that will prepare us for big opportunities.
Anyone can be stupid. It takes a person of real character and conviction to be brave.
I know I think more bravely when I trust God’s Word over my own way of thinking.
I know I feel more brave when I am surrounded by others with great faith and conviction.
I know I act more brave when I care more about what is right than the negative consequences that doing what is right might bring.
I know I feel brave when I help others in ways that bring no credit to myself.
I want to be brave. And I know you do to.
What would you say are the ingredients for bravery?