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This week, we are talking about courage. But what exactly is courage? Is it the absence of fear? Actually, you can have fear and be courageous at the same time. Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.”1
This is the classic definition of courage, the quality that moves people to act in spite of a threat to their own safety. It was why Charles C. Hagemeister was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions in Vietnam in 1967. Hagemeister was a medic. His platoon was attacked one night. During the seven and a half hour engagement, Hagemeister repeatedly faced enemy fire to reach the wounded and deliver aid, saving several lives.2 Helping his fellow soldiers was more important than his own safety.
Most of us do not face bullets in our lives. But we can face ridicule for our faith. In a similar way, our courage to tell others about the reason for our hope, begins with setting the lordship of Jesus as more important than our comfort. As 1 Peter 3:14-15 says, “But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.’ But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. “(NIV)
- Connie Stemmle, “Courage is Not the Absence of Fear: 3 Lessons from This Quote,” Develop Good Habits.Com, https://www.developgoodhabits.com/courage-absence-fear/
- Congressional Medal of Honor Society, “Medal of Honor Recipient Charles C. Hagemeister Passes Away at 74,” Cision PR Newswire, May 19, 2021, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/medal-of-honor-recipient-charles-c-hagemeister-passes-away-at-74-301295458.html>
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.