Being bold is more than acting without thinking. Being bold is more than doing stupid things to prove that I am unafraid. Being bold is certainly more than never conceding my point of view in an argument. Being bold is much more than being close-minded, pretending to be tough, and never backing down.
I want to be bold, but I want to live in holy boldness (Acts 4:13). The Apostles, after being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit post-Resurrection and post-Pentecost were bold with the leaders, elders, and scribes as they preached the Gospel even when being told to shut up. “Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, [the leaders, elders and scribes] recognized them as companions of JESUS” (Acts 4:13, emphasis added). There was something different about them. They didn’t seem like exceptional people, but the leaders knew, through their boldness, that they were companions of Jesus.
Do people see how we are living and speaking and acting and know that we must be followers of Christ, simply because of our holy boldness?
Now, so often in the past I have tried to imitate this boldness and fallen flat on my face. You see, in the past I have translated boldness as acting without thinking, and that certainly isn’t boldness: that’s stupidity. If our boldness isn’t united with love, then we’re just being rebels. We must have a reason for our boldness. If we are striving for holy boldness, than we must be united with Christ. The way to holiness is to remain in Him (John 15:4).
Being bold is taking that next step in speaking the truth. When your friends ask you to go see an inappropriate movie, instead of saying, “Sorry, I can’t go because I have something else to do,” instead you say, “I saw the preview, and I don’t want to fill my mind with that kind of stuff because I’m trying to be holy.” When your friend is checkin’ out that guy or girl and lusting over their body, instead of just thinking, “I’m not okay with this,” you say, “Hey, that’s my brother/sister, and we shouldn’t be looking at them as an object.”
These are just some simple examples. Can you think of other instances where we have the opportunity to be bold? Post them in the comments, and let’s discuss how we can live into holy boldness.
Whenever we take a stand for our faith and try to speak truth and live boldly, we will always have the potential to forget to love. We must always look back at our boldness and ask, “Did I love the person first in this situation?” “Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, ‘You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven…” (Mark 10:21, emphasis added). Before challenging this man to give up everything, Jesus looks at him, and loves him.
Holy boldness, combined with love while being rooted in Christ, will change the world. Together, let us seek this boldness, with humility to admit when we have crossed the line or failed to love and readiness to always get back up again, and let us be bold for the Kingdom.