Monday, April 11, 2011

My Charge!



I know I have written about this before, but I felt like I should repeat it today. So here it is.

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 verse but it took me awhile to really understand how powerful it is. One of the first things that struck me about it is that it is not simply good advice, but a commandment. We are commanded 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 which to me was the same as 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 bravery?

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 reporting so many bad things and with other people saying and doing sometimes bad things to us 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 of the charge. The reason we can do it is because the Lord is with us wherever 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 overthrow all the bad.

Understanding this charge to only let good feelings into our hearts 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.

3 comments:

Martha said...

This was so good! Once again, you have worded it so it goes right to my heart!

DeAnnaLynn said...

wow. thanks. really needed to read that :)

C Larsen said...

This is my favorite scripture, too. It has helped me get through hard times, like when I was mourning the loss of a son. Thank you for clarifying what courage means in our day.