The Etymology of Courage
The prefix Cor is from Latin which means heart. Dr. Brene Brown would define Courage as “The ability to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” In other words, courage is being vulnerable.
You may have heard it said that you can’t have courage without fear. If this is true then what are we afraid of given this definition of courage? I think we are afraid of being authentic! What if someone knows who I really am?
Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 12:9 MSG that our strength comes from revealing our weakness. "And then he told me, My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness."
The problem is we all have some type of fear that causes each of us to look, think, walk, talk in a way that is different from who we really are. It’s what I call a fear veneer. We want others to see the cleaned up outside not the beat up inside of who we are.
In the Bible the most commonly used word for fear is Phobos. It’s where we get our English word Phobia. Phobos means “to flee or withdraw” or “Flee because of feeling inadequate.”
- Has anyone ever felt inadequate as a leader? Me too!
- Has anyone ever felt inadequate as a parent? Me too!
3 Fears That Keep Us Stuck
1. Fear of Imperfection (Makes Me Want To Cover Up)
(6)…she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. (7) At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. Genesis 3:6-7 NLT
2. Fear of Connection (Makes Me Want To Hide)
(8) When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. (9) Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” (10) He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” Genesis 3:8-9 NLT
3. Fear of Rejection (Makes Me Want To Blame)
(11) “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?” (12) The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” (13) Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?” “The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.” Genesis 3:11-13 NLT
- We get Cynical - sarcastically demeaning others while honoring myself.
- We get Critical - pointing out the faults of others (shame on you!)
- We get Biblical - using spirituality to point out the faults of others.
Believers who feel deep shame often feel it necessary to remind others of theirs.
Courageous People Tell Their Story
Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. James 5:16 MSG
The Benefits of Sharing Our Story
1. Accepting my brokenness reminds me to be thankful.
2. Allows others to connect with me on a deeper level.
3. Provides us with an opportunity to take a risk.
4. Keeps us aware of our weakness.
5. Keeps me from blaming others.
6. Let's me see others in a more graceful and less judge mental way.
7. Provides others a "me too" experience.
On a scale of 1-10, 10 being extremely vulnerable, how vulnerable are you?