Moral courage involves the willingness to speak out and do that which is right in the face of forces that would lead a person to act in some other way. For one to have moral courage they must first have the courage to stand for the core values of the Christian doctrine. Many Christians have an aversion to speaking about their faith, much less standing up for what they believe. Moral courage is essentially an act that reflects one’s character.
Moral courage comes from moral wisdom. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the LORD. The fear of the LORD is foundational to true understanding. All other types of learning are worthless unless built upon a knowledge of the LORD Himself.
Solomon understood the importance of building the right foundation when he wrote Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” A wise person fears/reverences/obeys the LORD; a fool despises God’s instruction and cannot be told what to do. The wise person has a foundation on which to build the moral wisdom to have the moral courage to do what is right.
The connection between the fear of God and wisdom means we cannot possess wisdom if we recreate God in our image. Too often people want to “tame” God into a non-threatening nobody. But, if we redefine the LORD as a god that makes us feel comfortable, a permissive “buddy” who exists to bless us and give us what we want, we will not fear Him in the way He deserves to be feared. The Lord God Almighty is far greater than that, and the fear of the Lord begins when we see Him in His majesty and glory.
The amount of moral courage we have is directly related to our certainty. When we lack certainty in what we believe is shows in our communication skills. It takes moral courage to stand for what is right without compromise. The individual with the greatest amount of certainty is better equipped to deal with hostility, defensiveness and a variety of tactics used by our adversaries to prevent us from acting in a morally courageous manner. This is what made the Apostle Paul such a force for the Gospel. He said to Timothy, “God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. Be not ashamed therefore of the testimony of our Lord,.. : but suffer hardship with the gospel according to the power of God; who saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus… For which cause, I suffer also these things: yet I am not ashamed; for I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he can guard that which I have committed unto him against that day.