Can You Be 40% Brave?

Feb 25, 2015 by

16181_10152884809465528_4006347878088415661_nMeet my critique group, Inspire Writers Castro Valley (minus a few members). It is rare to have so many of us in one place, so we took advantage of the photo op while at the West Coast Christian Writers’ Conference.

Take a moment to read the sign on your bottom left. That’s right, it says, “I will be 40% brave.” Not “100% brave.” Not “I’ll be 80% brave and fake the rest.” 40%. Less than half.

The theme for the conference was A Brave New Word. Our wonderful Keynote Speaker, Kathi Lipp, gave three talks on what it means to “Write Brave.” She reminded us that writing brave takes guts. It means admitting struggles that we would rather hide, opening windows into our messy lives, and putting to rest our pat answers. All of that sounded really scary, even to me who gave a talk on “Write to Free Someone Else” (I’m still learning to take my own advice). But when Kathi said, “Brave doesn’t require 100%; it requires 40% brave and showing up” I’m pretty sure I heard a collective sigh of relief.

Thank you! The fact that I’m willing to obey God but can’t stop trembling as I realize what that might mean does not make me a weak Christian.

I can do 40% brave.

As Kathi pointed out, writing requires a different kind of brave. I have many friends who are teaching me what it means to be courageous in other ways as they face much scarier scenarios than how an editor or reader will respond to an article or book. God has called me to face fears that make risking being a bit more vulnerable in a blog post seem like the easiest thing in the world (at the time anyway). But even then, God doesn’t ask us to be super-hero brave. All He requires is that we say, “Okay,” and show up in all of our fear and shakiness, trusting that He can make up for the missing 60%.

What a burden-lifter!

So, what about you? Whether you are a writer or someone who must face a completely different “God, I don’t think I can do this” challenge, are you willing to—as Kathi says—be 40% brave?

When have you obeyed God despite your lack of courage and seen Him make up the difference?

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