This post basically follows up on a prior post titled Pastor Edward Donnelly on Courage. The point that Pastor Donnelly made, I have found repeated in another book as well, viz. The Story of the Old Testament and it is by Dr. Alec Motyer. Here is an excerpt from page 126 making that same point:
“Jeremiah portrays himself (1:6) as a diffident, insecure person, not a buoyant extrovert, but hesitant, conscious of weakness, immaturity and lack of “gift.” The fact that later he will often be required to be – and will be – forthright, daring, ready to take risks illustrates the truth of the definition that courage is “being afraid but going on.” For in response to Jeremiah’s confession of immaturity, the Lord does not say, “No problem, I will change all that” …”
Again as Dr. Motyer says “Courage is being afraid but going on.”
I think that this is not only an important insight but honestly it is also an en-couraging truth.* Why?
Well because we have all been in situations (e.g. a confrontation with a friend, passing out tracts on the streets, etc.) where we have been nervous, fearful or perhaps even outright terrified about doing something and yet still we have moved forward and done that something. However, the problem is that quite often after having done that something, we feel bad about being so fear-filled and think of ourselves as somehow being lesser Christians. Our reasoning might be “Oh. If I were truly filled with faith, I would never have had all that fear, anxiety … I am so lame. What kind of a Christian am I? Sigh…”
However what we get from Jeremiah is that you are in fact not lame. No. In fact moving forward while still being filled with fear – as Jeremiah was – is actually courage, and that is nothing to feel bad about.
*The prefix “en” means “to put into.”