Am I a Coward?
This is Day 18 of my 40 day Lenten Blog.
After the Soviets took over Romania, the communist government called a Congress of Cults to discuss religion. Priests and pastors spoke at length about the greatness of communism and how the new communist government was good for the country and for religion. They spoke about how Marx, Lenin, and Stalin were the new prophets and how much communism improved Christianity.
Sabina Wurmbrand sat watching the congress with her husband Richard, a Christian pastor. Sabina cried as she watched religious leaders grovel to the communists. "They are spitting in the face of Christ," she told Richard. "You have to say something."
"If I do," Richard replied, "you'll lose your husband."
Then Sabina said something that has always stuck with me. "I don't want a coward for a husband."
Richard's and Sabina's story can be read in Wurmbrand: Tortured for Christ the Complete Story. The true story tells of how Richard was soon arrested for speaking out. He was tortured for years. His wife Sabina was also arrested and thrown into a forced labor camp. Their hellish story is not for the faint of heart. It is amazing what they were able to endure--all for Christ.
But what am I willing to endure? Am I courageous like Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand or am I a coward?
There are many definitions of coward, but I like this one--A coward is someone who is too afraid of what might happen to do the right thing.
What is the right thing? The right thing is always the thing God wants me to do. I am a coward then, when I don't do what God wants me to do. That could be standing up for someone else when it's unpopular to do so. That could be refusing to go along with the sin that the crowd is pressuring me to commit. Or that could be proclaiming the truth of Christ in the face or ridicule or even arrest, torture, and possibly execution.
I've always struggled with being a coward. I've done the wrong thing or kept silent in the face of peer pressure many times. I've often ignored what God wanted me to do to take the easier path, or the path that fit my will and ego better.
Am I a coward? Sometimes I am. Sometimes I am not. But one thing that sticks in my mind...what would I do if faced with a situation like Richard Wurmbrand? Would I stand up for Christ when facing torture? I don't know, but I pray that if that situation does ever present itself, that God will not let me be a coward. I pray He will give me the strength to do what is right.
R.C. VanLandingham is the author of the Peter Puckett series, a Christian children's fantasy that explores what it means to know and love Christ through exciting adventures. His books and blog can be found at rcvanlandingham.com.