The Courageous Choice
"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death." Philippians 1:20 (NIV)
I had the most interesting conversation with a friend who lives in Hollywood. Although her family lives in the midst of glitz, glamour and extreme excess, she said they are determined to teach their kids something rare... the courageous choice.
You see, there are two kinds of courage. There's the courageous act that makes our heart beat fast when the knight fights the dragon or the firefighter rushes into the burning building. These are extreme events most of us won't ever face. And because most of us aren't put in positions to participate in a courageous act, we don't necessarily think of ourselves as courageous.
But there's a second kind of courage that, dare I might say, is widely available but not widely embraced. It's the courageous choice. This is the decision to do the right thing even when it's unpopular, uncelebrated and probably even unnoticed.
Have you been faced with one of these kinds lately? Probably one of my toughest courageous choices has been in the area of my food choices. It was my hidden struggle. The one I didn't want to deal with or talk about. Not with my friends and certainly not with God.
But then I started coming across verse after verse in the Bible that spoke directly to my issue. Though I didn't want to talk to God about it, God certainly seemed to want to speak to me. Verses like Philippians 1:20 as well as many more:
Deuteronomy 2:3, "You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north..." (NASB)
Psalm 73:26, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (NIV)
2 Corinthians 7:1, "Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." (NIV 1984)
God assured me He loved me exactly how I was, but He loved me too much to leave me in a state of defeat.
I made a courageous choice to read the Bible looking for God to speak to me about my struggle. I made the courageous choice to walk willingly on the path of discipline. I made the courageous choice to pick something healthy even in the quietness of my pantry when no one else was looking.
I made the courageous choice to put a stake in the ground and say, I'm more than the sum total of my screaming taste buds. My heart doesn't want that junk food. My arms don't want that junk food. My legs don't want that junk food. And my soul certainly doesn't want that junk food.
It is possible to layer one courageous choice upon another and find victory in your area of struggle. No matter what your struggle is, are you willing to make one courageous choice today?
Make that choice.
And then make it again.
And then make it again.
You are a courageous woman. Now, go out and prove it to yourself.
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I need Your divine help with each choice I make every day. I don't ever want to step outside Your will and direction for my life. I am courageous only with You, in You and through You. Please help me embrace Your courageous choices for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
"It is possible to consume only that which will add to your health and not take away from it. It is possible." Do I believe this choice is possible for me right now?
Remember, it's coming to the realization that changes need to be made and making those changes when no one else is looking is courageous. How can I begin to make these deliberate steps of change and courageous choices?
2 Chronicles 19:11b, "Act with courage, and may the LORD be with those who do well." (NIV)
Deuteronomy 31:6a, "Be strong and courageous..." (NIV)
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