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 Editor    Oct 10 : 19:19
 None    Editorials

What image comes to mind when you hear the word coward?

cowardly_lion.jpgWhat image comes to mind when you hear the word coward? The pathetic male passenger cowering in the rear of a lifeboat while the women and children are left behind to drown? Or a naive coworker foolishly covering for his associate who leaves work early every Friday afternoon?

Cowardice is defined as lacking courage, or more simply put allowing fear to dictate what we will or won't do. Courage by contrast is the willingness to act without regard to personal cost. We have read that "no greater love has any man than to lay down his life for a friend". Courage then is dependant upon a knowledge of, and faith in a greater good which in this case is perfect love, which is able to drive out fear. We all, of course, would like to be identified more with courage than cowardice. Sadly, for most of us however, the inverse is more often true than not.

Jesus stands alone and without peer as an historically courageous figure. His recorded life on earth is filled with examples of His courage and selflessness.
Jesus ate with the outcasts, touched the untouchable, and forgave the unforgivable. Always seeming to march counter to the culture of His day, He brought God's justice to an unjust world, by confronting sin wherever he went. The sheer weight of His convictions made it impossible for Him to not speak out and /or act against the world and it's system.

The lazy servant in Matt 24 on returning the talent God had given him without gaining anything more, complained about his master whom he described as a hard man who reaped where he did not sow. In fact, he went so far as to say that he was afraid of his master and so had no other choice but to return his responsibility unused.

We likewise are often afraid, and make excuses instead of living up to the responsibilities that we've been given. As the salt of the earth our job is to provide the truth that can preserve life, to whosoever wants it. That truth will probably offend some, perhaps even in our own church. Yet, only the truth in all of it's manifestations has the power to set men free.

What truths have we been afraid to speak of? Have we been ashamed to show others  what the Bible says about the way they live? Or, even more challenging, the way they think? Are we afraid to discuss the obvious contradictions between the values of our faith, and the changing political values of the day, even though we know brothers and sisters who've been taken in and are decieved by the contrary messages of the world? How many times have we not spoken up in a conversation where we knew that the real issues were not being discussed, and instead chose to play it safe by keeping quiet and not risk being seen as weird or extreme because of our viewpoint.

There arguably has never been a greater need for men and women with courage and love enough, to speak the truth. As our world spins ever faster and further away from God's plan, more and more people are being converted to the enemy's twisted way of thinking and looking at the world.
As men and women in uniform (the unblemished garments of grace and forgiveness) we are compelled to step out into this battle that rages around us, armed and ready to fight. Our friend, brother and savior has shown us the way, even laying down His life for His friends. How then should we be known if we do not follow?

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