Friday, June 17, 2011


Four different Hebrew words are translated “courage" in the Old Testament.

Appearing eleven times, “khawzak” refers to grasping, seizing, or conquering something. In seven appearances, it is part of the phrase, “Be of good courage.” Twice it is translated “courageous,” and once it is translated “courageously.”

And now an important point: It is never referred to as a spiritual gift: all the Jews were told to use khawzak, as if they already had it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Testament Courage

And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.
Acts 28:15

In the only appearance of the word “courage” in the New Testament, the Greek word means, well, “courage.” It is related to the Greek word “daring,” and is also related to the Greek word for “comfort” and “good cheer.”

How does courage work? By comforting and cheering you as you face difficulty, enabling you to dare to do what is right.

How does a Christian gain courage? From the kindness and encouragement of the saints.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Decades ago, the principal of the Christian school where I taught complained that a student was cheating in most of her classes and the teachers wouldn't do anything about it. That afternoon, I caught her with the textbook open during a test.

In the nightmare that followed, the church leadership united in blaming me. Why? The student's father announced that he was going to sue, and I watched in amazement as the entire leadership quickly turned against me.

I have heard enough similar stories from former Christian school teachers that I feel safe in saying that the great decline in Christian schools is largely due to the failure of leadership to stand up to parents. In fact, the failure of many Christian churches to grow is the result of leadership failing to stand up to church bullies.

I'll be posting a couple times a week from a Bible study on "courage," and comments are welcome.