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Applying the Character Quality of Boldness

Boldness vs. Fearfulness

3 min

Boldness is welcoming any suffering that comes from doing what is right, because it will produce a greater power of love.

There is rich insight in the Biblical definitions of boldness. Three Greek words translated bold each identify a distinct and important aspect of this quality.

  1. Tharrheo—Boldness in the face of death
  2. Parrhesiazomai—Boldness to speak the truth
  3. Tolmao—Boldness to accomplish great things for God

Boldness is the fearless and daring courage to carry out the work God calls us to do. When God commanded Joshua to “be of good courage,” he was being told to have boldness—boldness to face death in battle, to speak truth to his own heart and to the nation, and to do great exploits for God.

Boldness in the Face of Death

Because of the confidence that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, no believer needs to fear death.

Conquering the fear of death is actually one of the purposes for which Christ died. “That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14–15).

The Apostle Paul had this type of boldness. He fearlessly faced beatings, persecutions, and shipwrecks. His secret was the assurance that he was indestructible until his work was done; he knew that death would bring him immediately into the eternal presence of the Lord Whom he served.

God promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. Therefore, “we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:6).

The most powerful people on the face of the earth are those who have no fear of death.

The most powerful people on the face of the earth are those who have no fear of death.

Boldness to Speak the Truth

Whereas boldness to conquer the fear of death comes through salvation, boldness to speak the truth (parrhesiazomai boldness) comes through the prayer of other believers. Even the Apostle Paul requested prayer for such boldness: Pray “for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:19–20).

When the apostles were threatened with harm if they spoke in the name of Jesus, they received boldness through prayer: “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word … . And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:29, 31).

Boldness to speak the truth must begin with a clear conscience toward the Lord and toward others. Nothing stops the freedom of the mouth like the unresolved failures of a life. Before Isaiah was commissioned to speak, he was cleansed of his iniquity. (See Isaiah 6:7–9.)

Boldness to Accomplish Great Things

When a believer conquers the fear of death and boldly speaks the truth, he or she is equipped for tolmao boldness. God is able to accomplish mighty things through such a believer.

Doing great exploits for God and His kingdom is the result of knowing God and understanding His character and His purposes in the world. “The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32).

God initiates the boldness to do exploits by giving His people special passages of Scripture that directly relate to what He wants them to accomplish. These passages are promises and are the basis of faith, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word [rhema] of God” (Romans 10:17).

As we engraft the words of Scripture into our lives and meditate on them, we can claim their fulfillment in bold exploits. “If ye abide in me, and my words [rhema] abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).

Personal Evaluation

  • Is your heart right before the Lord so that He can work mightily through you?
  • Have you purposed to die to self and follow Christ? “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
  • Have you dedicated your life to fulfill God’s calling, and are you determined to make whatever sacrifices God requires?
  • Which Christian leaders are you praying for to have boldness to speak the truth?
  • Have you asked others to pray that you will have boldness to witness?
  • When people ridicule the Lord, do you defend the truth in a loving way?
  • Have you written out your testimony so that you will always be prepared to give a ready answer for the hope that lies within you?
Explore more about this topic in The Power for True Success

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