Becoming Brave

Becoming Brave

Wouldn’t it be marvelous to be brave, courageous and fearless?

I mean, think of all those valiant women of the Bible who rolled up their tunic sleeves, took a deep breath and changed history. Like Jael in the book of Judges, who single-handedly slayed an enemy king using only the implements available to an everyday housewife; or Rahab, the prostitute whose entanglement in an espionage adventure saved her family and landed her a place in the New Testament “Hall of Faith.” And don’t even get me started on Esther, what kind of captive girl becomes Queen and then takes the risk to invite her husband on a date that spells doom for her nemesis and deliverance for her nation?

And then, there’s me! Oh, some days I get to exercise my inner “fearless female.”

She’s the one who likes to do crazy things like jump on a motorbike, kiss an alligator, or just go without thinking jumping of the platforms of Africa’s longest and highest zipline. But on more typical days, I come face-to-face with my more so inner wimp. She’s the one who the sight of blood causes to faint. The one who - don’t tell anyone - once jumped when the toast popped!

Fortunately for frightened toaster ‘warriors’ like me, history’s courageous women of God have a lot to teach us modern day women. For starters, we can learn from seven things these women have in common:

1. Brave women are women of God

Brave women know they have every right to be afraid, because they understand that they can’t accomplish a single thing without God. Having committed their lives to Him, they seek Him in obedience as weak vessels through which He can accomplish great things at His discretion. Mary, Jesus’s mother, modeled this mindset when she told the angel Gabriel, “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38, ESV.)

2. Brave women are women of mission

Because they are women of God, brave women are women of priority. In serving the God who is stronger than themselves, they live for a commandment, a calling and a kingdom that is greater than themselves. So, they determine that it doesn’t really matter what happens to them. This sense of calling is the undercurrent we hear in Esther’s words before she entered the throne room uninvited: “If I perish, I perish.”

3. Brave women do what is right

Read Proverbs 21, and you’ll probably get a sense that righteousness, or justice, is a verb—something you do. And doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, regardless of whether it’s scary, gross or life-threatening, is another hallmark of courageous women. (The right thing, of course, might not always be most obvious; that’s just another reason why brave a woman needs God.)