I first read this book many years ago in high school and again a couple of months ago. It is amazing the new insights I gained as I am now in a different place. Courage is a quality exhibited by people who act on a need much greater than themselves and this book by Edwin Louis Cole is what it is about.
Edwin Louis Cole was a man’s man, the founder of the Christian Men’s Network that is now being led by his son Paul Louis Cole. The calling God placed on his life was to minister to a man which led to the development of the Majoring in Men curriculum. The goal of the curriculum is to develop men of Christ-like character to make an impact on the world to advance the Kingdom of God.
The book Courage is just one of many of the books that men study in the curriculum and it carries valuable nuggets that if adopted will make you honorable in the eyes of God. Having read this book I learned what it means to be a man of conviction that is, having the courage to stay true to what you know is right even when the world is screaming that you blend in with it.
Some of the Biblical characters highlighted are the three Hebrew children Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These three young men were threatened with being burned in fire if they refused to bow to the image King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. They chose to burn and trusted the Lord to vindicate them.
“If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” ~ Daniel 3:17-18
They remained true to their religious beliefs and indeed God vindicated them and King Nebuchadnezzar believed in God as a result. What this teaches us is that the courage you exhibit will lead other people to believe in God and transform their lives.
Recently I watched the movie Hacksaw Ridge based on the life story of Desmond Doss, a World War 2 conscientious objector, whose firm adherence to his religious beliefs played a key role in the US victory in the Battle of Okinawa. You can learn more about his story from a post that I wrote about him.
Unfortunately less and less people especially men do not have the courage to do what is right and compromise themselves.
In your daily life you need the courage to charge customers fairly for your products and services even when your colleagues pressure you to do otherwise.
You need courage to trade ethically even when you see others prospering in their wicked ways.
You need courage to refuse to pay a bribe even if it means not getting the approval of an authority to set up your business.
“Success is not based on the ability to say ‘yes’ but on the ability to say ‘no’ “
You need courage to trust in the Lord to bless the work of your hands even when you see others worshipping at ungodly altars and making money as a result.
You need courage to carry out the assignment God has given you even when you do not know how it is going to work out.
Some of the key principles I learned in this book are as follows:
- Moral courage enables a person to encounter hatred, disapproval and contempt without departing from what is right.
- God’s power is released to the degree that obedience is exercised and no more
- Maturity doesn’t come with age; it comes with the acceptance of responsibility
- Success is not based on the ability to say “yes” but on the ability to say “no”
God needs men and women of courage to stand up for what right in this world that is getting more and more corrupted. Are you that person that He is looking?
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