At times it takes great courage to enter into—or sustain—a relationship. Fear has a way of capturing our imaginations and fueling our emotions. Relationships are risky business. It takes courage to initiate them, mend them, and deepen them.
First, we need courage to be honest. We can spend years in silence and pretense, too afraid of disapproval and criticism to share our true selves. Ask God for the courage to be honest with people and the ability to speak the truth in love.
Next is the courage to confront. When healthy discipleship is at stake, ask God for the courage to follow the apostle Paul’s example. In Galatians 2, Paul relates his confrontation with Peter, who was separating himself from the Gentiles because he feared what the Jews would say (verses 11,12). Paul saw that Peter’s actions were undermining the truth of the Gospel and leading others astray.
Finally, pray for courage to seek reconciliation. The Bible is clear that we are to initiate a conversation with someone who has hurt us (Matthew 18:15). We are also to approach others when we know we have offended them (Matthew 5:23,24). Both require courage to overcome our fear of rejection.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid” (Psalm 27:1)?