Monday, September 20, 2010

Truth Tool - My Charge

My Charge
When Moses left the Children of Israel and Joshua became the new leader, the Lord gave Joshua a charge: “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9). I love this charge, which the Lord also gives to all the House of Israel, and since I am part of the House of Israel, I consider it my charge also.

But one day while I was contemplating this verse some things jumped out at me as if hitting me over the head and saying, “Look!” The first of thing that struck me was that this is not simply good advice, it is a command from the Lord. It is a command to not fear, and to not get discouraged. But even the command not to be fearful seemed strange. To me having courage meant to be brave and so did not being afraid. Why the redundancy? And why did the Lord find it necessary to define courage with the adjective good? Is there such a thing as bad courage?

It took me awhile, but I finally discovered that at the time the King James translators were translating the Bible the word courage meant “feelings and passions of the heart” and not bravery. Thus any emotion was courage, and so the Lord is charging Joshua (and us) to only have good feelings in our hearts.

But that presents a big problem. How can we go through our days with the media, other people saying and doing things and only let the good feelings into our hearts. Don’t bad feelings sometimes overpower us? The answer to that is in the last sentence. The reason we can do it is because the Lord is with us where ever we go or whatever we do. Despite the bad and evil, we can cast it away because we know there is a Savior who will eventually heal this world and all the righteous in it.

Understanding this charge to only let good feelings into your heart is a powerful Truth Tool. It can be used in time of vexation or as a preventative Tool to avoid vexation. I have rewritten the charge in modern English and put my own name in it. I have it laminated and carry it around in my wallet where I can refer to it any time vexation starts to overwhelm me. I also have it on a mirror that I see every morning. I have found that there is a power I can literally feel envelop me every time I reciting the words out loud.

4 comments:

Knowles Family said...

I love this post Sherrie. Joshua 1:9 is the theme for the youth this year and this will be a great lesson to teach my YW. Thank you for your daily inspirations. I sure enjoy them all!

SuSu said...

Perfect!

kaylie said...

Sister Johnson, thanks for this post! I can really relate to it. So often I catch myself thinking negatively and it really doesn't help me at all to think like that! I'm much happier when I think uplifting, positive, optimistic thoughts. I especially liked your explanation of why we can always have good feelings. It's wonderful to know that the Lord is always there. He's dependable and will never let us down. He's already provided the way for us to receive eternal happiness. So, knowing that is definitely cause enough to always think happy thoughts or have good feelings!

Wendi said...

I especially appreciated this: "...The reason we can do it is because the Lord is with us where ever we go or whatever we do. Despite the bad and evil, we can cast it away because we know there is a Savior who will eventually heal this world and all the righteous in it...." Thanks for that reminder. :)