The idea of being “bold” can sometimes be daunting. We can see “bold” as standing up to an intimidating bully, starting a revolution, or doing something really huge. In reality, boldness often starts small. It starts with meeting the person next to you, resolving a conflict with a friend, or showing love in the darkest of times.
During the Cold War, a time of distance and hostility, the Berlin Wall was constructed in order to separate Soviet-controlled East Berlin from the rest of city. It isolated part of Berlin in a climate of animosity, mistrust and coldness. During this tumultuous time period, an East German border guard pierced through the wall of bitter hatred with a simple, powerful act of kindness. While the other guards were hosing down protestors, this man was handing flowers to those on the other side, risking his job and perhaps even his life. The guard is nameless and his action small, but the impact of his bold compassion remains powerful to this day.
Just like this guard, we don’t need to be loud or famous in order to be bold. In fact, God loves it most when we decide to show compassion to people when there is nothing we can get out of it and when no one is watching.
From Nothing to Something
Do not despise this small beginning, for the eyes of the Lord rejoice to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
Zechariah 4:10 TLB
God actually expects big and bold actions to start small. God loves small beginnings – he rejoices to see them! This is because he loves turning things in our lives from nothing to something. He loves taking something that seems miniscule, and making it powerful.
Small Act, Large Impact
This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”
Matthew 10:42 MSG
As this Scripture says, sometimes small things make a large impact. Though God’s plan for us is bigger than we can imagine, we don’t have to be overwhelmed by what he’s calling us to do, because each and every decision to love is powerful in and of itself. When we make things too big, we can become easily overwhelmed and give up. But when we see a need that is yet to be met, for instance, and we go out of our way to meet it, that is all God needs to work with to make a large impact in someone’s life.
Every Step You Take
Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”
Joshua 1:9 MSG
Even the smallest acts of boldness can make us afraid. I can get easily discouraged by past negative experiences or get afraid of what may come as a result of such an action. But no matter how small the action, God is with us all the way. Every step, every conversation, every decision to love is backed up by God helping us get through it. When we decide to go to him with what we’re afraid of, he can help us in each and every step it takes to be the difference someone needs. All we need is to show someone we care, and that is how boldness begins.
- What is God calling you to start now?
- What need do you need to meet today?
- What bold act do you need God’s help to do?
To learn more about becoming bold, be sure to join us for our upcoming campus retreat entitled “Bold” on April 22-23. Look forward to seeing you there!