Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life–this is my petition. And spare my people–this is my request. For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and annihilation. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.” – Esther 7:3-4 (NIV)
Sometimes telling the truth is easy. When you are asked if the meal is good and it is good, that is easy. When you are trying to uncover a conspiracy to eliminate a race of people – a race to which you belong – that is not easy. There are times that truth telling requires courage because the telling may cost more. Esther did not know how the king would react to the truth she had to tell. She needed to be courageous.
But courage is not a skill that is developed; it is a character trait built on the foundation of our beliefs. We are courageous because of what we believe in and what we love. If what we believe in is transitory or false, then our bravery will be just as transitory and false. If we want our children to be brave for the sake of the truth – God’s truth – then they need to believe firmly in God.
Courage doesn’t exist in a vacuum and it doesn’t just pop up like a magic genie. I need to help my daughters be courageous by encouraging them; encouraging their faith, encouraging their service to God, encouraging their public witness of the Gospel. The questions rise in my heart, “Do I exhibit courage? Is my foundation firm enough to help me overcome fear? Am I standing for the truth despite the possible cost?” The only answer I can give with confidence is that I am trying.
And that is what I will keep asking my daughters to do; try. Try to speak up when fear clenches at your words. Try to live for Christ when others live for themselves. Try to live according to His word and not according to your fears. This is what I will try to do in my life and what I will try to instill in my children.
Lord, help me to be courageous. Amen.