Courage isn’t a complicated topic to write about. We all desire to be courageous and we all respect people that we think are brave.
But living life courageously is quite another thing.
I believe a lack of courage is nothing more than a lack of understanding. If you are afraid to be brave, you have forgotten one of these things:
Who you are.
Who loves you.
The eternal impact you can make on this world.
My missionary friends in Prague, mom friends in Marietta, Dave Barnes writing music, college students making wise choices, and Queen Esther from the Bible all have one thing in common. Their courageous choices are making an eternal impact.
It’s not a complicated concept. It’s just a hard one to remember. It’s not a pressure-filled concept, either. It’s just a reality. The decisions you make don’t just affect you.
Think about siblings. The older brother jumps off the second wooden step onto the cement sidewalk. The younger brother sees and thinks, “I can do that too.” And somehow, he does. The same thing happens all the time- I see someone else write a book, I think I can do it. I see someone else run a half-marathon, I think I can do it. I see someone else move to a foreign country, I think I can do it.
I see someone else trust God for finances, for a husband, for a job, for friends, for a future and I think, “then I will trust Him too.”
If I can watch you be brave in your world, then I can be brave in mine.
I have lots of hopes and dreams about my career in writing and speaking. But one of the top things I hope so much is that others will now be brave enough to serve God no matter where they are in the world. See, I’ve watched other people do it- Beth Moore, Lysa Terkeurst, Ann Voskamp, Angie Smith (and I could go on and on). I see their courage and I see that they survive the brave steps in life. And they made an eternal impact on me. Then every person who reads the words I write or somehow chooses courage because of my life, they are a ripple effect of the people who impacted me.
We are eternal beings with eternal futures and we have the opportunity, here on this temporal Earth, to make an eternal impact.
Whether that is in your job, your family, or your mission field- its time to be brave. It’s time to realize that people are watching. It’s time to make the kind of eternal impact that will create a culture of courage.
I don’t know what this looks like for you. I wouldn’t dare to guess. Maybe you don’t know either, and that’s okay. Ask God. Just ask. Just ask God for opportunities to be courageous and make an eternal impact and He will give them. I promise.
Be brave in your world and watch as that ripples through your community.
Annie F. Downs is an author and speaker based in Nashville, TN. Her new book Let’s All Be Brave is available wherever books are sold. Learn more about her and her Nashville life at anniefdowns.com and follow her on Twitter @anniefdowns.