|JULY 21, 2015
Why It’s Good to Be Bold LIZ CURTIS HIGGS
"Since we have such a hope, we are very bold." 2 Corinthians 3:12 (ESV)
I’m a take-charge chick, so I always thought boldness was a good thing. Fearless, confident, adventurous? Yes, please. But when I asked a roomful of sisters in Christ, "Who wants to be bold?" only a few hands shot up.
Later, I chatted with some women in the audience, hoping to find out why boldness held little appeal to them. One told me, "I don’t want to seem pushy." Another said, "I’m too shy for that." And a third added, "I’m afraid I’ll come off as arrogant."
Ah. Now I get it. When we go bold on our own, it can look pretty ugly. Demanding, controlling, my-way-or-the-highway. That’s not what we’re shooting for. A steamroller approach doesn’t honor God and seldom gets the job done. We don’t want to flatten people; we want to lift them up.
It’s time for boldness to get a makeover, because His Word shows us it’s good to be bold.
When the queen of Sheba challenged King Solomon to a battle of wits, she was decidedly bold. No other monarch in Scripture dared question the wisest man on earth. Others came simply to hear Solomon’s wisdom; Sheba came to test it.
After Solomon answered every one of her difficult questions, Sheba confessed, "But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes," (1 Kings 10:7a, NIV). She came, she saw, she conquered her doubts, and in the end found what she was searching for: a God infinitely bolder than she was.
Queen Esther demonstrated great boldness when she approached the throne of King Xerxes, saying, "I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish," (Esther 4:16b, NIV). What a role model for women in every century! Before she put her life on the line to save her people, she wisely asked them to fast and pray, that she might be given favor by the king.
Boldness can be a risky business, but only if we do it on our own. When the Lord leads the way, we can follow Him without fear, knowing the outcome is always in His capable hands.
Queens aren’t the only bold souls in Scripture.
When the disciples prepared to share the gospel, they prayed, "Enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness," (Acts 4:29b, NIV). They knew they couldn’t drum up boldness on their own, so they called on God to help them be unafraid and unapologetic.
The Lord quickly answered the disciples’ prayer: "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly," (Acts 4:31b, NIV). Boldness is really about God, then, and not about us. Rather than a personality trait, it’s an attribute of the Holy Spirit.
Even if we don’t have a leadership role like Sheba or Esther, we can be bold because of the One who empowers us. When God resides in us and works through us, His strength sustains us. As our key verse today says, "Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold."
What might boldness look like in our day-to-day lives?
Starting a home Bible study and inviting neighbors who don’t know God. Praying with a stranger who has just shared her struggles with you. Visiting a women’s prison with a group from your church and sharing God’s love.
When we let His boldness pour through us, we’ll discover, "He crowns the humble with victory," (Psalm 149:4b, NIV). God gives us a different sort of crown from the queen of Sheba’s gold one, but it shines far brighter. And it shines forever.
Heavenly Father, I want to do bold things for You, but fear of others often gets in the way. Help me care more about serving You than pleasing people. When I hold back, nudge me forward. When I get scared, banish my fears with the assurance of Your love. Strengthen my heart and mind so I can boldly share Your truth with those who are hurting. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY: Proverbs 28:1, "The righteous are as bold as a lion." (NIV)
1 Corinthians 16:13, "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong." (NIV)
RELATED RESOURCES: Liz Curtis Higgs’ new book, It’s Good to Be Queen, releases today and explores how you can become as bold, gracious and wise as the queen of Sheba.
Study the Bible each week with Liz! Sign up for her Wednesday posts by clicking here.
REFLECT AND RESPOND: Being bold doesn’t need to come naturally. In fact, it’s more effective when it comes supernaturally.
What person or situation in your life could benefit from your boldness — humbly sharing the good news of God’s forgiveness or speaking a hard truth in love? Ask God right now for the courage to move forward.
© 2015 by Liz Curtis Higgs. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org