I have found that the courage to face adversity and opposition is one of the most difficult types of courage to cultivate.
Why is this so?
As firefighters we risk our lives daily in numerous ways yet when it comes to having the courage to speak up for our beliefs we often become cowards.
As firefighters, we have opportunity to critique incidents and learn valuable lessons from our successes and. mistakes. Depending on the circumstances, some of us view it as a learning opportunity while others view it as an attack on their character. In my opinion, this is totally dependent upon the level of emotion that we are experiencing at that moment.
Do we feel defensive?
Do we feel hurt?
Do we feel that we are doing a good job?
After action reports are designed to be tools to improve our service that we provide. They are a quality assurance check list that we follow. In our lives, after experiencing our own personal crisis we face the reality of the “problem of ownership.” Whose problem is this? More importantly, whose shoulders does the responsibility of blame lie upon?
Consider this principle:
It takes one of true courage to take ownership of their actions than to cower behind lies and defensive statements. True power lies not within our physical strength but within our hearts in the face of great adversity.
To have moral courage is to “stand firm in the faith”. In order to develop this characteristic, one must sincerely believe. They stand firm, not because of their own strength, but because of their hope in Christ.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)
Let us be clear and speak the truth in love. When you are confronted, persecuted, or ridiculed because of your faith do not speak to them as they did to you. Remember, Jesus is our example. When He was mocked, cursed, spit on, and persecuted He did not respond with anger but with love.
This is the mark of true courage: To respond to hate with love, to answer ridicule with wisdom, to turn the opposition into a conversation, and to lead a conversation into a relationship.
Be courageous and set the positive example for others.