I’ve been “brave” for a week. I think.
I’m taking part in #100DaysToBraveSummer. Annie F. Downs wrote a devotional book, 100 Days to Brave, and there’s a social media community doing it throughout the summer.
Day 1 was Memorial Day.
Day 25: June 21
Day 50: July 15
Day 75: August 10
Day 100: September 4
Every time I think of being brave, I think of the Cowardly Lion (my favorite character) from The Wizard of Oz (my favorite movie).
He’s not really a coward, it turns out. But he thinks he is because he doesn’t believe in himself. We see him yelp with fear as they’re walking down the hallway to see the wizard for the first time. He knows someone pulled his tail, but it was him.
While the Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow scope out the Wicked Witch’s castle, they have this conversation:
Cowardly Lion: Alright, I’ll go in there. Wicked Witch or no Wicked Witch, guards or no guards, I’ll tear them apart. I may not come out alive, but I’m going in there. There’s only one thing I want you fellows to do.
Tin Man and Scarecrow: What’s that?
Cowardly Lion: Talk me out of it!
He still doesn’t believe in himself, yet he goes on to help the group melt the Wicked Witch. It’s not until the wizard presents him with a medal that says, “Courage,” that the Lion truly believes in himself.
That’s what I’ve learned through this first week of being brave, I guess is what you can call it. I am brave. I have the courage inside of me. I just have to believe. Not necessarily in myself, as Annie points out:
“I’ve been me long enough to know I’m not someone to be believed in. … I believe in the me God made and in the me God can make. I believe He made me on purpose and didn’t make any mistakes when it came to my creation (Psalm 139:14).”
So what is it I believe in, exactly? God! And how do I do that exactly? Read what He’s written to me (2 Tim. 3:16).
Because people have been believing the lies Satan whispers since the beginning.
“And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’”
– Genesis 3:2-4
Let me just write some of things Annie wrote in her book that just kill it:
* It’s hard to believe truth with your mind is flooded with confusion and false stories.
* Satan is a liar. He wants to define you, label you and stop you from being brave and doing the work God has for you.
* You hear a lie. You treat it like truth and it begins to define you like a label. And then you act out of that label.
* The truth that sets you free is God’s Word. If you fill your mind with His words, that truth will make you brave.
* Believing truth is always a choice. … You have the choice to fight for truth or give into the lies.
* There is so much power when you begin to understand that you are who God says you are, not who other people think you are or who you believe you are.
It was in the midst of reading Rebekah Lyons’ book, You are Free (seriously, y’all. Pick that one up) that I actually realized the truth of that last statement. So, because unlike my junior high/high school self, I have no dry erase markers, I picked up a bulletin board, some push pins and notecards. Every time I read a verse that really sticks with me, that proclaims His Truth louder than any lie of Satan’s I pin it on there.
Here are the verses I currently have on my #truthboard. Please leave some verses that preach truth to you in the comments!
2 Timothy 1:7
1 Corinthians 1:26-29
2 Timothy 1:8-9