Cowardly and self-centered — or courageous?

By Dave Henning / December 6, 2019

“We can be at our most cowardly and self-centered when fighting for nothing more than ourselves.  And we are at our most courageous when we are fighting for someone else.”- Jeff Manion

“After I (Nehemiah) look them over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people. ‘Don’t be afraid of them.  Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”- Nehemiah 4:14 (NIV)

Moving on to Day 25 (“Who Are You Fighting For?”), Week 5 of Dream Big, Think Small, Jeff Manion cites the story of Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.  On Nehemiah 4, we read that the walls reached half of their intended height.  However, at that point the workers felt exhausted.  As a result, they felt incapable of summoning the strength needed to finish their monumental task.  And, on top of all that, they receive notice that regional warlords plan to attack the city.

Hence, this desperate situation brings forth Nehemiah’s finest hour.  First, he assigns workers – equipped with swords, spears, and bows – to guard the most vulnerable places on the wall.  Next, Nehemiah positions the workers alongside their families.  Thus, the workers fight not only beside their families, but for them.

Writing in his book Deep Survival, Laurance Gonzales explains who survives such situations:

“Helping someone else is the best way to ensure your own survival.  It takes you out of yourself.  It helps you to rise above your fears.  Now you’re a rescuer, not a victim.”

Finally, Pastor Manion presents a crucial question to answer if your desire to finish the race well: Who are you fighting for?  Think about the rings of people whose journey you influence.  Above all, Jeff exhorts, guard your heart on behalf of people you’ve yet to meet.  Because, Jeff believes, the habits your cultivate today affect the relationships of tomorrow.  Even those relationships currently unknown and unnamed.

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you counter cowardly and self-centered feelings?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The Tabitha factor = your greatest impact”

About the author

Dave Henning

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