Courage Is Not Always Measured by the Ability to Win; It Is More Often Measured by the Ability to Sacrifice
The gospel writer John says, “They took Jesus and flogged him (19:1)…And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head (v.2)… They…struck him with their hands and plucked the hair from His beard]….Then Jesus went out, bearing his own cross (v.17)…[And] they crucified him (v.18)…When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them (v.23)…After this they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth (vv.28-9). When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (v.30). And after all of this “one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water” (v.34).
At any moment, during any part of this ordeal, Jesus could have destroyed all those who were attacking and oppressing Him. He’s God! He has ultimate power and authority! He is preeminent in all things, and in all things He is supreme! And yet, He did nothing to defend Himself, nothing to fight back, nothing to win. Was He afraid to fight back? No, He said, “No one takes My life, I give it away.” Was He unable? No, He could have at any moment combated their attack with all the power of heaven in His hands. But, He chose the path of sacrifice, and in this He showed what is truly courageous.
Do you always have to win? With your employees or employer? With your kids or your spouse? Do you always feel it necessary to win because you can, and if you don’t, then you wouldn’t be showing courage? Next time you encounter conflict, remind yourself of the most courageous man to ever walk the earth. He didn’t have to win, because in sacrificing Himself, He’d already won. True courage is, more often than not, measured by the ability to sacrifice.