Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. (1 Corinthians 16:13–14, NIV 1984).
My Musings – “Courage is knowing that it might hurt and doing it anyway. Stupidity is the same.” (Jeremy Goldberg). Wisdom is knowing the difference. Standing firm in the faith takes courage, because we know we could get hurt. So, we must keep our guard up, a defensive move but without giving ground. That’s the standing firm part. What is lacking in these instructions is an offensive move. Instead, whatever we do, must be done in love.
Unfortunately, we sometimes get hurt doing things that we should not. Like standing firm on disputable matters with a lack of concern or love for those we are up against. Focusing on winning the battle, while losing the war. Hurting others and getting hurt ourselves.
At other times, we press the battle against those with hopelessly hardened hearts. Pushing up against immovable opposition, often unlovingly. Erroneously assuming that retreating from such situations mean that we lack courage and are not standing firm.
My Advice – Be wise. “The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded
than the shouts of a ruler of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 9:17, NIV 1984).