Boldness may be easier to see in others than in ourselves. But be assured: All Saints is a congregation of bold people.
I mean this in the sense of true, Holy Spirit boldness. Our society is steeped in violence—violent words and violent actions. Many mistake belligerence and brutality for courage.
While Holy boldness may create tension, it moves towards peace—the deep healing peace the bible calls “Shalom.”
Jesus is our example of boldness. Jesus was bold in meeting new people, in forgiving sinners, in casting out demons, in confronting people who distorted true faith, in being willing to die but not to kill, in trusting God’s power of new life.
More than an example, Jesus is also the gift for us of boldness. “Give us this boldness!” “Give us Jesus!” is what we pray when we say, “Make us bold.” It’s not a prayer for fearlessness, because we need fear. Fear can teach us the difference between bold and reckless. Fear shows us what we value, who we love.
Instead, we pray for love to well up within us—so much love that it carries us beyond the temptations to fight or to flee. We pray for Jesus’ love to well up much more than our own. In the strength of Jesus’ love (for ourselves and for others), we are free to be bold. Bold words and bold actions are born of love.
Since our courage muscle grows with exercise, consider this. Be loving and bold to thank someone for the courage you saw in them. Be specific about when and what they said or did that you admire.
You only need 30 seconds of courage to do this. But don’t stop there—not if you love Jesus and treasure the gospel!
Make us bold.