Courageous Love

I have never considered myself bold, rather I would be caught in awe of those women I admired that essentially glided through life with alluring grace and boldness. When I was asked to write on this topic, my friend Carrie mentioned that she had “learned so much about boldness” from me. I sat, literally stuck at my keyboard with astonishment and overwhelming humbleness. I didn’t do it. In truth, the LORD did it. Paul once wrote that there is nothing good within him, but anything good that is found within him is the LORD alone [cf. Romans 7:18-19]. No truer words could have been written. Before I go any farther, I thought it wise to devour the understanding of the word bold.

BOLD, adj. bold·er, bold·est
1.
a. Fearless and daring; courageous
b. Requiring or exhibiting courage or daring

2. Unduly forward and brazen; impudent

3. Strikingly different or unconventional; arresting or provocative
— American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Retrieved from: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/boldness

As I have combed over these definitions and scripture in the context of boldness, I am made profoundly aware that I am, in fact, bold. By the grace of the LORD, I am actually made fearless, daring, courageous, forward, brazen, strikingly different, unconventional; I do not go by the rules of expectation or cultural rule. I do tend to take risks that I can only see now as a risk. I choose to fight for things and lay down my heart, when everything around me says “just be happy.” Here’s a thought, what if I were to say that YOU, too, are bold!

What would you discover? What would you learn about yourself?

I can be honest with you that to wake up in the morning, choose to face your day, and the culture that permeates every part of our day, takes boldness; especially if we choose to live a life of true freedom and boundless joy.

It doesn’t take boldness to follow suit [status quo]. It doesn’t take courage to do what the culture around you postulates as “freedom” and “your authentic self.” I didn’t find my authentic, bold, and free self until I actually shattered into pieces in the deep blackness of a winter’s night and had to grasp the fact that only the ONE knows me. The very One who designed me.

Through my life I have found this letter from Albert Camus [1913-1960] to be wonderfully said,

My dear,
In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.

Truly yours,
Albert Camus”

When I read the word "it" in the 7th line, my personal interpretation is from the Bible. As the scripture states in a few verses, these powerful truths:

We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who live are always given over to death because of Jesus, so that Jesus’ life may also be revealed in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you. And since we have the same spirit of faith in keeping with what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we also believe, and therefore speak. We know that the One who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and present us with you. Indeed, everything is for your benefit, so that grace, extended through more and more people, may cause thanksgiving to increase to God’s glory. Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
— 2 Corinthians 4:8-15

This was one of many scriptures that gave me the courage to be bold. I have no shame in the life that I have lived or in the ONE who saved me. You know what the greatest point of it all, the one on which true boldness is lived out of: LOVE! Yes. That is what I meant to say: true, graceful, boldness is LOVE. “Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Eph. 5:2)

This love is what gives me boldness.

This mad crazy love that He has for us is what gives me courage. This extraordinary, sacrificial love is what makes me strong, even more so when I am humanly weak. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9) This truth that gives me such a hope encourages me to be bold. “Since we have such a hope , we are very bold…" (2 Corinthians 3:12)

This boldness cannot be left alone. We need to feed our growth in love and self-control. To be brash is not the boldness that we want to display. “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you… for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." (2 Timothy 1:6-7) This boldness allows us to love courageously and be kind in the face of a contentious world. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." (John 13: 34)

So here is my last word of hope: Be bold, you do not walk alone!

May you be encouraged. Take steps of love in each moment. Be bold in each choice. Simply BE. If you get to know the One who designed you, he will overflow your cup with hope, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control, and most profoundly love, which helps you to simply BE BOLD!

 
 

To read more of Jeanette's writings and follow along on her faith journey, please visit:

Jeanettemharris.wordpress.com