Bold. The word “bold” sounds to me onomatopoeic. One syllable that cuts to the chase: strong, direct, emphatic, without equivocation. Bold. There’s no mistaking it for wish-washy, ambivalent, tentative.
The spiritual journey problem for me is that when I try to be bold in dealing with fellow humans, finding it hard to be assertive, I become, instead, mouthy, rude: aggressive. And then regretting that behavior, I reinforce my not being bold, if that makes any sense.
Interesting, though. The One with Whom I should be most afraid of being bold, I am not the least so!
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Hmmm… Why is that so? Do I have no respect, no reverent fear, no sense of the Infinite?
Yes, I do…There is only one answer to why I, a poor, weak, sinner-creature could presume to go “boldly” before the throne of grace, and that answer is well expressed by St. Paul:
“…in [Christ Jesus Our Lord] we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. (Ephesians 3:12)
And that explains that the “boldness” with which I approach the throne of grace is “confidence” in Christ Jesus, Who said that He is the Way to the Father.
Another translation of Hebrews 4:16 bears out that “bold-ly; bold-ness” connotation:
“So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”
Praise God for the confidence we can have in Him….
Maybe that explains why I find it difficult to act boldly with fellow human beings. Maybe I know that we all are imperfect; that I cannot count on justice, let alone mercy! Maybe fear and cynicism keeps me from making myself vulnerable—transparent, in a way—to trust letting someone else know my hopes, fears, desires, complaints, needs etc.
So, until I get comfortable being assertive in human relationships that have to do with personal aspects, I hope that at least in terms of my Baptismal privileges and responsibilities, I can be bold in my dealings with fellow human beings in the way that St. Paul also stated…that having boldly/confidently approached the Throne of Grace, I can share that grace, boldly/confidently proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the way appointed to me because to the extent that the Lord appoints, in my little area of the world, with believers and nonbelievers:
“To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ, and to bring to light [for all] what is the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God who created all things …This was according to the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness of speech and confidence of access through faith in him.” (Ephesians 3:8-9,11-12)
Everything up to this point was written before Mother Angelica’s death Easter Sunday. Now, I realize I could rewrite this post to speak to her holy boldness. I might do that for the next post. For now, I will just add this postscript:
“Boldness should be the eleventh commandment.”
– Mother Angelica
Those who knew and worked with her said that her bold faith emboldened others…
Now I realize that this boldly holy woman lived my “If only…”
Guess what! As soon as I published this post, a notice appeared. I take it as the Lord giving me a thumbs-up for being bold enough to have started and continued this blog: WordPress posted this two-part message:
“You’ve made 50 posts on Noticings, Wonderings, & Yearnings….50 Posts
Congratulations on writing 50 posts on Noticings, Wonderings, & Yearnings…!”
Thank you to my SJT community members who have read and commented on the SJT posts that I began his Fall. May God bless you for your generosity in reading and sharing your feedback. Your experiences and insights have been an indispensable part of my faith journey this past months. Thank you!
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A bold voice in the wilderness, comforts all…
what a beautiful thought to reflect on:)
Bobbie, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) Your morning blog post allowed me to be alone in thought for a few moments and ponder the scripture you provided. I boldly go there and ask for the grace to accept challenges and turn the into positives. Thank you, Bobbie for this opportunity to reflect spiritually. (BTW: I am delighted that next week we will explore your OLW.)
Thank you for reading and reflecting on that passage; am so glad it resonated with you. …Thanks to you, too, for encouraging me to re-think sharing that OLW; am grateful to you and Holly, and at at peace with exploring the variation. God bless you!
Bobbi- I agree with Carol in that your post was very inspirational and helped me think about my own boldness. I never thought about it until I read you blog today, but when I pray each night, I do so with boldness because I am confident in Lord’s goodness and mercy. Thank you for this thoughtful and lovely post.
Thank YOU so very much for your affirmation! Your posts and the posts of the other SJT community members are inspirational for me; it’s a sign of God’s tender goodness and mercy that He ministers to us through each other. Praise God! Thank you. May God continue to bless you abundantly as you have great–bold:)–confidence in Him.
Boldness and confidence/faith go hand in hand, don’t they? I, too, sometimes have trouble being bold with people. There was a great example of that in a literacy meeting yesterday with my administrators and colleagues. There is something the administrators are doing that I think goes completely against what I believe about good literacy instruction, and I had a hard time speaking up. I was fearful of repercussions. However, I did speak up. I was nervous, but I have the confidence/faith that I am in the right about my beliefs. We can also speak boldly about our faith in God because we know Him to be true…
Amen! “If God be for us…” (Romans 8:31) No matter what–even if there are repercussions, if we act and speak in honor of the Lord’s Truth, He will take care of us–even with a new job, if necessary–but that’s hard stuff! Who wants that kind of problems. That’s why you are SO RIGHT! Confidence and faith need to go hand in hand. We need to pray for and encourage each other. We had a little Scripture Sharing group that met at lunch at work, and when we knew we had something tough to do or to confront, we would ask each other to pray especially for that intention at the time of our needing to take a stand. I found it helpful, too, to contact prayer lines and to know others were praying. All that being said, I still found it hard. As Jesus said, we need less worry and more trust–in Him! Thank you again and again for forming a strong community in which we can offer and receive such Jesus-centered support! Thank you for taking time to read and to share your experiences on this tough issue of boldness. God bless you always.