Growing in Courage

by Samuel J. Travers - January 24, 2012

It takes courage to face our fears and to do the difficult things we need to do to serve God and to serve others. How do we grow in courage?

What is courage? Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary says courage is the “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.”

How can we face a problem with courage? First, we can ask God for help in a prayer. Second, we can analyze the problem and try to figure out a plan to solve it. (See the blog post “Now Let’s Solve the Problem!”) Then, instead of wasting time worrying, we can work on carrying out our plan with courage.

Growing in courage

Here is an example of someone not showing courage. A boy who just turned 12 years old decided to go to a teen dance put on by his church and have fun. But he didn’t know what was ahead for him. He got to the room where the dance was being held and got very nervous. Instead of talking to people and dancing, he always went the other way because he did not want to face his fears. When he saw a few girls coming his way, he hightailed it the other way. When the dance was over, he was one of the first to leave.

But he made a decision to change and grow in courage. When that same boy was 13 years old, he went to another teen dance where he danced four times. He even asked a girl to dance with him on the last song. That showed a lot of courage right there. He was not as scared; and, though he still had a long way to go before he was comfortable with dancing, it was a good start. He tells people that if he could build his courage, anybody can.

Joshua 1:6-9 is another example of an individual who needed courage. God told Joshua, “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you” (verse 7). Joshua trusted God and obeyed and did the things that he feared, and he grew in courage.

Ways to use courage

We need to exercise our courage so we can grow in courage. How do we use courage?

  • One way is by doing the difficult things that make us nervous in order to serve other people, like going to a dance and asking girls to dance.
  • We can also show courage by looking for ways to help out in church. The littlest things can make a big difference to somebody.
  • We can show courage by asking teachers for work ahead of time if we’re going to miss school for a religious holy day.

All of these little examples are only the beginning of how to show courage.

Ways to get guidance on courage

You can learn more about courage by reading examples of people, such as Joshua, who grew in courage and showed courage in the Bible. You can get suggestions from your parents and from your minister.

The best way to ask for courage is by asking God in prayer. Knowing that He can do anything can help us deal with the things we worry about. God can give us an answer right away or when we need it most.

So be strong and be of good courage!

Samuel J. Travers is in the eighth grade and loves to write. He attends the Athens, Ohio, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association.

For some more helpful posts for teens, see:

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