Cowardice: lack of courage to do what is right, to face tough circumstances or tough decisions, danger, difficulty, opposition or pain

To see the right and not to do it is cowardice. Confucius.  

The better part of valor is discretion.   W Shakespeare
This republic was not established by cowards; and cowards will not preserve it. Elmer Davis

  Just because someone experiences fear does not make them a coward.  Chances are all of us have experienced fear many times during our lifetimes. There are many things that should cause us to fear. We should fear the consequences of breaking the law; the consequences of foolhardy actions or especially when truly facing serious danger. Fear naturally occurs when facing the unknown. Cowardice occurs when we experience fear and fail to have the necessary courage to act. Failing to go forward when it is the right thing to do is cowardice.

    Can we act with courage even though we are fearful? The classic portrayal of cowardice is the soldier who runs away from the battlefield when facing the enemy. Probably all of us have done the equivalent of this when faced with various forms of enemies and choosing to run away rather than face our fear by taking action.

     When faced with fear, and knowing in our hearts and minds what should be done, and failing to take action, are we a coward? Cowardice is failing to have the courage to take action and do the right thing. There are various degrees and severity of cowardice. Are we being a coward when asked to get up and say something in front of a group of people and choose not to because of our fear? Are we being a coward when we fail to reprimand someone who warrants it?  Is it cowardice when we cannot tell someone “No’, such as telemarketers or salespeople?  Are we a coward when we fail to stand up to a bully or a thug or rescue someone who is being assaulted by someone else? There are various aspects and degrees of cowardice.

    Do we choose cowardice over avoiding pain, failure, rejection and inconvenience? This is often the case. We sacrifice principles and values as well as opportunities for personal growth and development when we fail to take action when it is called for. In order to develop and grow we have to face the pain in our lives. This includes being able to handle rejection. We have to be able to fail and try again, and to choose to do the right thing even if it is inconvenient.  Each time we have courage we have gone forward, every time we show cowardice we have fallen backward. We overcome can overcome our fears by taking action.

Challenge:   We all have our individual battles with fear and cowardice. We must engage them and strive to find the courage to do what is right. Sometimes the consequences can be very serious. Sometimes we are just trying to gain a little personal growth. Many wise men and women have encouraged us to face our fears and go forward. Life is an ongoing process of learning, development and growth. Face your fears. Take action. Grow. 

Wisdom: The cowards never started — and the weak died along the way. Author Unknown

Spiritual: (NIV)

I can do all things though Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  II Timothy 1:7

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40: 31

There are all kinds of fears in life that we must face. Many of them represent real danger; many are irrational and are figments of our imagination. There is one sure cure for all the fears of life. That cure is found in the courage, confidence and faith that comes only from God. We can only go so far in our own strength and courage. If we truly want to have victory over all fear, that can only be found by the courage that God gives.

Prayer:  Help me to have the courage and the confidence to do what is right.


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