By Joe Castaneda
I’ve become convinced that “bold” is one of those words that can go either way — you can like it or hate it depending on how you’ve seen it used in your life. Sometimes boldness is the explanation a person gives for being a jerk or for stepping all over people. But being bold is not an excuse to be mean, arrogant, rude or uncaring.
It seems to me boldness is the blending of courage and bravery. I’ll define bravery as the sense of duty that comes when we must stand up to fierce opposition (whether that opposition is internal or external), and courage is the character quality by which we do the right thing, even when others falter.
Boldness then is standing in a strong sense of duty, while still doing the right thing even if others falter. Boldness is action. It makes me think of the writer of Hebrews who wrote, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence…” One translation reads this way: “Let us boldly enter the throne room of grace…” (Hebrews 4:15-16). Our flesh is opposing us, trying to keep us from living richly in the grace of God. Boldness is required to stand up and to courageously do what’s right — enter the presence of God to seek help.
Today I want to be bold in pursuing those things before me as I keep trusting the Lord to move and to act. Below is a Tenthdot Devotional I wrote on this particular topic. Maybe these words will help embolden you, as they did me.
Paul told young Timothy, “For God did not give you a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). In other words, be brave and courageous and go after those things God has put before you. I think it’s easy as Christians to mask our fear in piety or holiness, claiming a desire “let go and let God” when in fact, God has already released us to do His work. I’m convinced God opens doors of ministry and life-change and we sit outside in fear, saying, “As soon as [X] happens, I’ll walk through this door” because we lack boldness to follow God’s leading. In doing so, we miss out on the blessing of being the vessel used by God to accomplish His work.
David said, “When I called, you answered me, and made me bold and stouthearted” (Psalm 138:3) and Solomon wrote, “The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as lions” (Proverbs 28:1). In Acts 4, Peter prayed for boldness and God delivered (4:29, 4:31). Paul and Barnabas spoke the Gospel boldly (Acts 13:46, 14:3), and later Paul told the Corinthian believers that our hope gives us great boldness before God (2 Corinthians 3:12).
The author of Hebrews reminds us that because of Christ’s sacrifice by which He gained experience through His humanity, we can boldly enter God’s throne room and ask for grace and mercy. Boldness is a christian quality! God wants us to boldly ask for grace. God wants us to do His work boldly! God wants us to step out in holy ambition and boldly do the work He has given us! God wants bold children!
Today, ask God to help you be bold. Ask Him to make you “bold and stouthearted” so you will have the bravery to stand up to opposition, and the courage to do what’s right even if others fall away. Be bold for God in all your choices today.
Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!