LQW: Leadership Question of the Week-What is Courage?


I am starting a new weekly post to create some conversation around leadership principles.  I have chosen the topic of “courage” as my first attempt.  I have been thinking a lot lately about how fear can creep into the life of a leader and cause some pretty bad results.  I see it in the biblical account of several leaders and I observe it in contemporary life.  I see it in me.  If courage is the antidote to fear-then we must define it well and know its source.  You and I have both heard varying definitions of courage-try this one on for size and comment at the end of the post.  I think this is really worth considering because we are desperate for courageous leaders today.  What do you think of the definition below?  What are your thoughts on the need for courageous leadership and its sources?

Courage: The combination of indignation and compassion towards something, fueled by faith.

Let the conversation begin.

5 responses to “LQW: Leadership Question of the Week-What is Courage?

  1. Does the practice of courage always require one to be angry (even justly so)?

    • Mark-thanks for throwing in your thoughts. I pieced this definition together from some of my thoughts and some from Tim Keller. The idea of indignation is something that you are bothered by-something that you observe that is not right-that needs to be corrected. So it might better fit as “moral indignation.” You are right about the word “indignation” carrying the connotation of anger-so your question is a good one-does courage have to include some sense of anger? I think to truly act on something with courage it may need to include a strong sense of something not being right. But this is also why I include “compassion”-I think it is the collision of wanting to right a wrong and caring deeply enough about it to act properly. More thoughts???

  2. Yeah, that’s what I thought you meant, but I was hoping one of your other friends would throw something in here.

    Righting a wrong (not the current colloquial understanding of indignation) definately takes courage. For example, participating in world evangelization takes courage. To be sure, there are some who are flat out angry about sinners getting away with their folly (which sounds like a contradiction of sorts – that is, being angry about a condition they have no control over apart from the grace of God). However, most who care about the glory and fame of Christ being spread to all peoples, seem to to posses a genuine compassion for the lost who are “missing out” on treasuring Jesus as all sufficient Savior and Lord. It seems, at least in regards to making disciples, courage reflects a tension between a high view of the majesty of God (and a concomitant jealousy for His honor), and a weeping compassion for the lostness of most human souls (and a concomitant passion for their rescue).

    Does this make sense?

  3. This totally makes sense Mark-well said. Merry Christmas!

  4. Pingback: introspection, courage, and shame « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality

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