Sunday, July 22, 2018

Being Brave

When I was a kid, my family received from my grandparents a stereo console that played records only at 78 rpm. Sometimes I put on records meant to be played at 33 or 45 rpm (making the vocalists sound like chipmunks). Other times I listened to old ten-inch discs that belonged to my father and uncle when they were boys. One of which was “Little Brave Sambo”, a variation of The Story of Little Black Sambo written by Scottish author Helen Bannerman. 

Little Brave Sambo was a South Indian boy who wore colorful clothes and shoes plus carried an umbrella. While out for a walk, Sambo encountered four tigers that threatened to eat him. He appeased the tigers by surrendering all his stuff. The tigers soon argued over which one was the grandest in the jungle. They chased each other around a tree until they were reduced to a pool of melted butter. Sambo then recovered his belongings.

In real life, appeasing your enemy isn’t being brave and can have negative consequences. One example that comes to my mind was the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001. The first three planes crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon because the passengers and crew gave in to the hijackers not knowing their true intentions. A fourth plane eventually went down in a field after the passengers realized the hijackers were on a suicide mission and revolted. That act of bravery prevented the plane from crashing into another buildin(possibly the White House or U. S. Capitol) and killing even more people. 

One person we should never appease is Satan. Unlike the tigers Sambo bought off with his stuff, “…your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Satan won’t stop stealing, killing, and destroying unless he is confronted. Many cashiers are trained by their employers to hand over money during armed robberies to lessen the likelihood of being killed. However, I’ve seen videos of individuals who withstood criminals by using the name of Jesus. As James 4:7 commands, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

God wants us confronting our fears instead of embracing them. A fear many Christians need to overcome is obeying the Great Commission. One time I led two men to the Lord near a sports bar. Afterward, they commended me for “being brave” in sharing the gospel. All of us can be brave soldiers for Christ if we know our authority in Him.

“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.” - 1 Corinthians 16:13

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