Be Strong and Courageous
This morning I found myself in the book of Joshua in the Bible. Not sure how I meandered my way there, but there I was nonetheless. I read the first chapter and noticed how many times Joshua was told to “be strong and very courageous”. I got why he would be told that, Joshua had really big shoes to fill after Moses died, but I didn’t really understand what was meant by “be strong and very courageous. Coincidentally, for some reason I had been thinking about courage a few weeks ago. So, I decided to spend some more time with my friends developing those thoughts. Here is what we came up with.
Strength is built through hard work - a conscientious effort and consistency. When you are strong in something, it means that you have mastered it to some level. It is the same with physical strength - it is built. So what does it mean when you are asked to be strong? It means you must build your strength. A person’s strength is built by their daily habits. Strength is a result of a consistent set of actions.
Strength is a result of a consistent set of actions.
To build strength, one must be disciplined, patient and consistent. Discipline is doing the right thing at the right time. It is committing to do something because it is what needs to be done, not because it is the easiest option. Patience is preparation and consistency is showing up and taking the step forward everyday.
With those three things, strength is built, but strength also requires guidance. Or else, how will you know the right choices to make? How do you know how to spend your time preparing? In what must you remain consistent? It depends on your desire and your purpose. Your guidance lies in your ability to block out the noise and listen to your inner self- your inner guide. For it is from within that you will be guided on the ways in which you should prioritise your life- what you should do and how you should spend your time. This may be a direct guidance or an indirect direction to someone that will help you figure these things out. The key is to be able to listen to yourself.
It is of no use to be strong in a way that benefits no one. This is not to say that the benefits of your strength will immediately be clear or known, but it must be at the back of your mind that your strength is your service to others. And that is what will help to guide you on your path. It is this service that gives strength meaning.
Similarly, courage is being able to listen to and believe the silent but consistent voice that tells you, you can do it, you have nothing to fear. It is acting on the advice of that voice and going ahead to do it, in spite of your fear. More often than not, you find that there is literally nothing to fear, and that which remains scary, you chip away at bit by bit, by continuing to be courageous. To be sure, courage is not the absence of fear, it is simply the refusal to let fear hold you back from doing anything, especially that which you know is the right thing for you to do.
Be of good courage always. Then you will see that truly, there is nothing to fear. Fearless people are not born overnight. It is by the consistent commitment to taking the bold step forward- putting one foot in front of the other to come out of the shadow of fear, where the light reveals all and you become truly familiar with what you are facing.
You only fear that which you do not know or understand. So part of courage is necessarily seeking to expand your knowledge and understanding. So when you are afraid or you believe that you lack courage - seek to shed light on that object of fear. Be clear about what it is you fear, and why you fear it. It then becomes easier to know how to deal with it. The fear may not fully go away, but it will be better understood and easier to manage. What is better understood is better dealt with. That is why you are told to confront your fears - you give yourself a chance to dispel them.
Courage is knowing the illusion that is fear.
Be strong and courageous.
Be disciplined. Be patient. Be consistent.
Learn to understand and confront your fears. Move forward in spite of them.
Then do all these things in the service of others.