Courage, convictions and … courage!

Sayings go in and out of fashion with the times. Sayings which are common in our youth may not be known by people in the next generation.

“Have the courage of your convictions” was a fairly common saying when I was younger. It meant that if you believed in something, you would always follow through with the logical consequences and stick with them. This seems to conflict with a number of points of view in the current times – that things will not be permanent but rather be transient – to not stick with things which may hurt your image or prospects – that your beliefs will vary depending upon the company you keep.

Many Biblical figures had the courage of their convictions. Many didn’t.

Moses had the courage to carry out the command given to him. Daniel had the courage to enter the lion’s den. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had the courage to enter the fiery furnace. David had the courage to face Goliath. Jesus had the courage to face his opponents.

With the courage of your convictions, you can face and overcome insurmountable obstacles. You can carry out tasks which you may think you cannot.

Examples are numerous from generations ago – WWII provided many known examples and even today there are numerous examples, often not as well known (because the people involved may still be under threat of their lives). Having the courage of your convictions may also include the ability to carry out your job despite the difficulties you may encounter. There are so many jobs where the worker, afterwards, does not understand how they managed to do it.

Alternative presentations of “Having the courage of your convictions” can be “Your word is your bond” or “You stand up for what is right”.

The New Testament and Gospel reading compare the person who stands up for what is believed in, to the person who changes view depending on circumstance. Which are you?

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