The Courage to Stand By Your Convictions

By | August 6, 2013

“In the name of prudence the terrified imposter would have us betray our identity and our mission, whatever it might be – standing with a friend in the harsh weather of life, solidarity with the oppressed at the cost of ridicule, refusal to be silent in the face of injustice, unswerving loyalty to a spouse, or any lonely call to duty on a wintry night. Other voices clamor, “Don’t make waves, say what everyone else is saying and do what they’re doing, tailor your conscience to fit this year’s fashion. When in Rome do as the Romans do. You don’t want to raise eyebrows and be dismissed as a kook. Settle in and settle down, You’d be overruled anyway.”

Anyone who has ever stood up for the truth of human dignity, no matter how disfigured, only to find previously supportive friends holding back, even remonstrating with you for your boldness, feels the loneliness of the poverty of uniqueness. This happens every day to those who choose to suffer for the absolute voice of conscience, even in what seem to be small matters. They find themselves standing alone. I have yet to meet the man or woman who enjoys such responsibility.

The measure of our depth-awareness of Christ’s present risenness is our capacity to stand up for the truth and sustain the disapproval of significant others. An increasing passion for the truth evokes a growing indifference to public opinion and to what people say or think. We can no longer drift with the crowd or echo the opinion of others. The inner voice, “Take courage. It is I. Do not be afraid,” assures that our security rests in having no security. When we stand on our own two feet and claim responsibility for our unique self, we are growing in personal autonomy, fortitude, and freedom from the bondage of human approval.”

-Brennan Manning, “Abba’s Child”, page 118-119