Jul 31, 2020
“Four Irrefutable Attributes of Courage”
Of Guts and Manhood
By the time you read this, I will have finished the rough draft of my newest book, Of Guts and Manhood: Four Irrefutable Attributes of Courage, which will be offered for a month only as a free download, starting mid-August. After that, it is going to print. Learn more on our website!
This is a monumental work on courage. I documented each of the 57 times the word courage is mentioned in the New American Standard Bible (NASB) as well as New International Version (NIV) and discovered something about courage that I have never read before. There are life-changing truths about courage that I can’t wait for you to learn. If you want to be your most courageous self, then you need this resource in your library.
In my exhaustive word study of courage over the past two decades, I have discovered some tremendous secrets about courage and have mined them from the Bible for you. It takes great courage to live out your best version. Cowards are never at their best. Only the courageous live freely, love boldly, and long to be their best in Jesus.
Of the 57 times courage, or a derivative thereof, is mentioned in the Bible (NASB and NIV) it falls into one of four definitive categories. The discovery of these was literally life-changing for me. Here they are.
#1 Courage is a personal choice
The New American Standard Bible has been my personal study Bible since 1989. The spine is torn, pages that aren’t ripped are stained, and decades of notes are faded into its pages. During my first exhaustive word study, I found 47 direct references to courage. Of those, 16 were commands to “take” courage. This blew me away It was the first time I realized courage was a choice. People are brave because they choose it.
Courage is an action. Courage is only a noun after the fact. When facing fears, one will choose the path of the brave or coward. Fear is a feeling that becomes courage when men override feelings to act valorously. When fear tempts us to shrink back (Hebrews 10:39), courage chooses to press on. It’s simple.
And profoundly difficult at the same time. How many lives are average simply because they have chosen to be so? How many choose wealth and comfort over significance and honor?
#2 Courage is a character trait.
I have the burning conviction that God has placed a deep desire within all of us to be courageous. It’s the elephant in the living room of a man’s life. Do I have what it takes? Will I rise to the occasion?
Benjamin Disraeli once said, “Success is for a man to be ready for his time, when it comes.” However, courage becomes a character trait only after men have a compounded history of making courageous decisions. The same holds true for cowards. Cowardice is as cowardice does, just as courage is as courage does. Cowards become so after compounded cowardly choices over time.
The male who defers fathering his children to another man is still a boy and a coward not because he chooses it today, but because he chose it every day leading up to today. It is only when he chooses to act with courage (compounded over time) that he starts the journey towards courage.
#3 Courage is a call to action
I found it really interesting how many times the Bible mentions men losing, finding, gathering, and melting courage in the face of adversity. I almost named this attribute “Courage in the face of opposition” before realizing it is something much bigger. It is a blatant call to action.
Courage almost always precedes the call to action in Scripture.
Because courage is not required to lounge on the couch, to defer your fathering to another man, to watch football while your family goes to church, or to collect an unemployment check.
Edmund Burke once said, “Evil prevails when good men do nothing.” I would question the use of the word “good” as to my thinking it’s used as a synonym for cowardly.
Friend Paul Coughlin who wrote the men’s classic, No More Christian Nice Guy, might change Burke’s meaning to, “Evil prevails when nice guys do nothing.”
The bottom line is this: courage is needless for those who sit back and do nothing. It is, however, required in order to work your rear off for your family, confront the evils of this world, and fight for the souls of those you love. Courage is a requirement for those willing to act on their convictions and confront the bullies of this world.
#4 Courage is a sign of strength
Lastly, and probably the most obvious of the four irrefutable attributes is this: courage is a sign of strength. I was working out with Shanna a while back. We usually do high intensity interval training (HIIT Workouts), but on this occasion, we were bench pressing.
This a good time to explain a birth defect I’ve been cursed with. Without going into great detail for my mother’s sake, most babies are born with their heads larger than their chests. Not me. My chest and shoulders were actually larger than my head. Pus I was a whopping 8 pounds, 12 ounces! As my mother retells on each birthday, “Jimmy (my mom still calls me Jimmy), it was like giving birth to twins!”
I grew up extremely self-conscious of my unusually large chest. I still am. But that chest earned me a full-ride football scholarship. Back to the first story. I don’t bench much. I don’t need to. On this day, after not benching in months, I had 225 pounds on (I was over 50 at the time) and was repping it out for sets of twelve when my wife ribbed, “No one cares how much you bench!”
No sooner had the words come out of her mouth when the local Marine recruiter and his workout buddy walked over, “Wow, how much do you bench man! I wish I could push weight life that!”
Don’t make fun of my birth defect.
Men respect strength and all of its various forms. Whether is it physical, mental, spiritual, or grit. They always have and always will. Men long for courage, not for courage’s sake but because they long to be seen as strong, capable, and enduring.
Courage is simply a means to an end. Men who are seen as strong are characterized as men of courage. They are two sides of the same coin. Where courage is lacking there is weakness. Where a man is strongest is also where he lives most courageously.
I was impressed to discover that of the 47 times that courage is mentioned in the Bible (NASB) 19 of those references are linked directly to strength.
We simply cannot separate strength from courage in Scripture and will make no attempt in this book to do so.
Boots on the Ground
I hear your boots stomping in the dirt, “When can I get a hold of this book?!” You’re gonna have to wait a few more weeks. We will let you know but the window of opportunity will be small. Be listening!