“We had boldness in our God…”

Bold: “showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous”

Before, I go any further, I should clarify 1) This picture is at least five years old. 2) This is not the kind of boldness I'm about to write about. Just thought it was a fun picture.

I have spent a large part of my life wanting to be bold, but waiting (I give myself no bold points for tweets and blog posts, which are read almost exclusively people who already approve of me).  I know that we are called to be bold and courageous, both in word and action:

…as you know,we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict.” -1 Thessalonians 2:2

…it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.” -Philippians 1:20

Keep alert…making supplication for all the saints, and also for me that word may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel…that I may declare it boldly as I ought to speak.
-Ephesians 6:18-20

I want to be bold, and I thought I was just waiting for the right time to be bold.  But I realized today: I have been waiting to be bold until my boldness no longer has to be bold.  I will stand up, speak clear truth, and take a risk with my life when…I know everything will work out.

When I know you will not think I’m strange or unloving; when I know that others will join in with me; when I know that I’ll have success; when I know my arguments are airtight and everyone will think so; when you will still be my friend at the end of this; when I can quietly back out of this action later; when God has already told me the definite outcome.

Maybe I am waiting to be bold because it turns out I don’t really want to be bold after all.  I think I might have just wanted to look bold and am still searching in vain for an avenue where I can look bold without being bold.  Now granted, our current generation is especially hostile toward people who are bold about what they think is right and so one has to be careful abou–

Wait a minute.  That can’t possibly be true.  Was there ever a generation where there was no risk in boldness or where everyone loved the bold people?  Again, that would hardly be boldness at all, since boldness necessitates confidence and courage in the face of risk and hostility.  The current state of the world is never a good reason to not be bold, because there is never a state of the world where being bold is something the world wants.

Will we be a people who can look back on our lives and say with Paul, “We had boldness in our God”?  Actually, take the “we” out of it for a minute, because boldness in God also might mean no one else is around to join in with me.  Will I be someone who will look back and say, “I had boldness in my God” (or just boldness in my haircuts)?

And finally, will I ever get it into my head that my “boldness” and “courage” is only in relation to this world and temporal outcomes?  I need courage because I don’t know what is going to happen.  My action might succeed or it might fail miserably.  But that is only in regards to earthly outcomes.  There is never any failure with God or when we have boldness in our God.  Whether the outcome of my bold action looks like all the walls of Jehricho coming down or whether it looks like being crucified on the cross, God is at work.

I know that.  Why would I wait to be bold?