vs. Fearfulness
Confidence that what I have to say or do is true and right and just in the sight of God

Key Verse

“And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.”
Acts 4:29

The operational definition of boldness is “confidence that what I have to say or do is true and right and just in the sight of God.” A bold person is willing to obey God when called to stand for righteousness. Boldness requires discernment to know when to stand, courage to face the unknown, wisdom to foresee the outcome, and love to communicate graciously. The key to boldness is being yielded to God’s call on your life. God’s Word teaches us what is true, and He has commissioned us to go and proclaim that truth to the world through our words and actions. Are you resisting God’s will or agreeing that He has called you to proclaim truth? You can be confident that God desires to show you what is true, right, and just! When you are in fellowship with the Lord and willing to yield to Him, the Holy Spirit
will guide you to know how and when to take a stand for truth.

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1).
God told Israel that if she did not listen and obey Him, then she would lose boldness before her enemies. “The sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth” (Leviticus 26:36).

The opposite of boldness is fearfulness. If your focus turns from God, fear will quickly creep in. Not everyone will agree with the truth. You may worry what people will say or do if you stand for what is right. Instead of being fearful, ask yourself: “What is God asking me to do?” and “What will happen to others if I remain silent?” Total commitment to God and genuine love for others will motivate you to be bold. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord”
(II Timothy 1:7–8).

Evaluation Questions

  • What conviction has the Lord placed on my heart to take a stand on publicly?
  • Who are the Christian leaders I am praying for to have boldness to speak the truth?
  • Do I wait for opportunities to witness, or do I create them?
  • When people ridicule the Lord or say His name in vain, do I speak up and lovingly inform them as to what they are really saying?
  • Have I written out and memorized my salvation testimony so I can always be prepared to share it?
  • Is my heart right before God so that I am ready and available when He prompts me to stand boldly?
  • Do I take action when I see error and injustice?
  • Am I concerned about what others think, or am I willing to speak the truth, even when it is unpopular?

More About Boldness

“We fear men so much, because we fear God so little. One fear cures another. When man’s terror scares you, turn your thoughts to the wrath of God.”
William Gurnall
Transformation results as we behold the Lord and yield to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18). As we see God’s character through testimonies in Scripture, we grow in our understanding and obedience to His Word. Here are ten aspects of Boldness with supporting verses found in God’s Word.

God enables me to:


Remember that He is my confidence.

“In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.” Proverbs 14:26

Know the truth.

“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” I John 4:6

Speak the truth without fear.

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” Philippians 1:20

Keep a clear conscience.

“This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.” I Timothy 1:18–19

Stand for what is right.

“. . . as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

Support others when they are right.

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and 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 6:18–20 “Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” II Timothy 4:11

Be willing to stand alone.

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29

Communicate with grace.

“The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.” Ecclesiastes 10:12

Live consistent with my message.

“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” I Corinthians 9:26–27

Fear Him, not man.

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28 “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25

Boldness in Scripture

Peter and John before the Intimidating Council

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”
Acts 4:13
After receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Apostle Peter did not hesitate to follow Jesus’ final instruction to proclaim salvation throughout the world. As Peter preached truth to the people in Jerusalem, the Church began to grow. One day on their way to prayer, Peter and John met a lame man outside the Temple. They knew they could offer him something more valuable than gold and silver. So, with confident faith, they fastened their eyes on the crippled beggar and Peter boldly declared: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk”! Peter grasped the man’s hand and lifted him up. Immediately the lame man’s bones were healed—he could walk and jump! Peter and John turned to the amazed audience. Peter addressed the marveling crowd by first giving praise to God. Then he declared how the listening crowd had denied and murdered God’s Son not long before. Peter urged the people to repent. How would the multitude and the religious leaders respond to his fearless preaching? Surely the two apostles would be brought before the intimidating religious court of Jewish scribes and elders! Would Peter boldly proclaim Christ there as well? Or would fear stop him from speaking truth to these powerful leaders?

Revealed in Nature


The wolverine illustrates boldness. It is a fearless and tenacious fighter and does not back away from any opponent, even one that is many times its size. It is capable of even driving away a bear or mountain lion.

For Kids

Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum

The Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum uses examples from the lives of men and women in the Bible whose walk with God resulted in good character or whose lack of faith produced poor character. Learning boldness helps children understand that there is no need to fear as they stand for what God says is true and right and just.

View the Boldness booklet sample:

Get the complete Boldness booklet with all four lessons & activities:

Free Resources for Boldness

Enjoy these selections from the Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum that are fun and memorable!

Bible Story Coloring Page
Verse & Definition Word Search
Related Hymn Sheet Music
“There is nothing more dangerous on this planet than people that are not afraid of dying.”
Josef Tson