Every once in a while I run across a line that halts me in my tracks (or sometimes my ruts) with a sense of “I’m speaking to you, Gary”. This was one of those thoughts:
You have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs.” Brene Brown
It’s very easy and usual for us to be sloppy and shielded with our life because it’s our life and it really doesn’t matter outside of it. It seems like the world is not really looking at us as an example of how to live as a Christian, even though speakers, teachers and authors tell us this all the time. After all, who really notices or takes any inspiration from our life anyway.
You’d be surprised.
We can say to ourself, I don’t want to be brave with my life, I don’t want to risk loss at this time – not relationally, financially, vocationally, physically or emotionally. I’m too tired, too overwhelmed and too disappointed.
It’s easy to be brave with other people’s lives, isn’t it? Suggesting the steps of faith they ought to take and God’s promise to be with them. It’s always easier to risk someone else’s stuff.
I have two thoughts about this:
First, how about the fact that you and I don’t actually own our life – so we can be brave with it.
You do not belong to yourselves, because you were bought by God for a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 NCV)
We can step back from our life and ask, what would it look like to live bravely with that life, letting the world around it encounter the splendor of God in it?
God encourage us to be brave with His possessions. In a very familiar story (Matt. 25:14-30), Jesus tells of a man who was going to be away for a long time, entrusting his property to those who worked for him. When he returned he was very happy with those who lived bravely with his property.
Jesus is inviting us to take a risk with His prized possession – you and me.
Secondly, our life, our actions transcend or radiate out beyond our tiny space call “myself”. We often don’t take seriously our actions, good or bad, until we realize that they affects others. That it’s not just me and my inconsequential life. Believe it or not, our life does affect others.
You’re life is noticed, felt and experienced by others.
There are many times that I lived bravely because I saw someone else living bravely.
- Someone initiated a risky but necessary conversation, so I did.
- Someone invested time and money into the development of their artistry, so I did.
- Someone created or launched something that had been on their heart, so I did.
- Someone stopped doing something that had been expected of them for years, but was not who they truly were, so I did.
- Someone stepped forward to offer what they saw without assurance of receptivity, so I did.
- Someone offered kindness, consideration and forgiveness when anger and retaliation were justifiable, so I did.
- Someone made a big realignment in their life according to what God had shown them, so I did.
You see, I need YOU to be brave with your life, so that I can be brave with mine…and I will try to do the same for you.
Ann Voskamp wrote,
You’re only living faith when you taste a bit of fear in your mouth…taste the fear and leap anyways.”
What would it look like for you to live bravely right now that would inspire another to bravery?
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