How are you doing today? I hope you’re having an incredible week. In the first part of this series, we considered the first step for commanding respect as a youth without needing to resort to rebellious behaviour and deviant vices just to prove a point. Just in case you missed it, click on these words to access that post. Today, we’ll be building on this subject.
Besides what we shared last week, how can YOU command respect as a youth?
2. Command Respect by COURAGE
Life can be one scary place sometimes. Unpleasant things randomly stroll in and shake up our cute little lives. It may be a challenge at work, school, with friends or wharever. These things happen – they’re just a normal part of life.
The question though is, how do we respond when life starts throwing lemons at us? Do we run away in fear – hiding behind excuses and playing the blame game? Not if we desire to command the respect we deserve.
Check out David at the battlefield when he heard Goliath’s challenge.
Let no man’s heart fail because of this Philistine; your servant will go out and fight with him.
1 Samuel 17:32
What audacity from a youth! When other boys his age were at home, expecting war stories from their returning fathers, uncles and big brothers, this guy was right in the thick of the action talking with seasoned generals and the king! That’s what courage does – it n-a-t-u-r-a-l-l-y compels respect. It commands regard. There was a national problem and this youth showed up, confidently promising a solution. Who could ignore that?
We command respect when we face challenges with a confident heart. I know you love your friends and parents, but there comes a time when we must stand and build personal stamina against life’s struggles. You will find it very difficult to command respect when you run to mummy and daddy or to your big uncle or aunt over every uncomfortable situation.
I’ve watched young people fight hard to prove their growing independence but at the slightest pressure in their lives, they crack and everyone around has to chip in some form of support to help them get back on track. You CANNOT command respect that way!
If you’re really no longer a baby as you claim, then prove it by dealing with issues in your life with personal fortitude. One of the hallmarks of a maturing life is the ability to face life’s challenges and surmount them. Do you desire to command respect without rebelling for it? Handle challenges with courage.
A few quick words about courage.
Courage is NOT recklessness. The average youth is considered rash in their approach to issues. In fact, it is almost expected of us! ‘Youthful exuberance’ they call it. But courage ain’t that way. It is not being careless or flying in the face of danger blindfolded. Courage is understanding that there are dangers ahead but deciding not to be stopped by them.
Courage is a decision. It is not a feeling, and neither does it just jump on you magically. You choose to be courageous. You choose to stand up and fight.
Courage is not a facial expression – it is a mental position. It is about the state of your heart. Anyone can wear a tough look. Anyone can speak heavy words – until the heat gets turned up. Then it’s no longer about what we say or how we look. It is about what we do.
And when the Philistine looked around and saw David , he scorned and despised him FOR HE WAS AN ADOLESCENT, WITH A HEALTHY REDDISH COLOUR AND A FAIR FACE
1 Samuel 17: 42
You could almost picture David from the description above. To an observer, he was a gentle and adorable teenager. But within that delicate package was the fearless heart of a thousand warriors and a head-slicing war hero. It’s not enough to look courageous. Be courageous indeed!
Courage grows progressively. See how David referred to his past victories?
David said, The Lord Who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.
1 Samuel 17 : 37
We build courage gradually. By taking on the ‘little’ challenges and surmounting them, we strengthen our hearts for the next level of victory. It’s just like playing a video game – difficulty increases with each new level. But to get there, you need to successfully navigate through the preceding levels.
Courage means starting with the confidence to win. Personally, I’m trying hard to limit the number of times I say ” I’ll try”. I may be wrong but I’ve observed that it’s not a very empowering way to speak. It just drains energy from the effort expected and gives a cheap way to chicken out or excuse failure. If you’re going to do it, just DO IT!
There’s no point saying you’ll try. Just go out and do it. Start with a decision to win. When you come up against a challenge, don’t just scramble about looking for a way out. First settle down and decide “how exactly do I want this to end?”. I bet you this is one of the MOST IMPORTANT skills you need to learn as a young person – the ability to conclude on the outcome before you start. That’s how courage works.
There’s so much to this subject but we must stop here today. I’d love to hear from you – when was the last time you faced a situation where you really had to step up with courage and face it head on?
How did you deal with it?
Let’s keep the conversation alive in the comments section.
Cheers to your boldness. Enjoy the rest of your week!
Live by Design.
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