Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"If I Only Had the Nerve"

Pusillanimity: (pu-sil-la-nim-i-ty) noun: Contemptible fearfulness. A cowardly, irresolute, or fainthearted condition. Lacking courage and resolution : marked by contemptible timidity. My fear of snakes has not reached pusillanimous proportions.
Origin: From the ecclesiastical Latin pusillanimis, from pusillus (very small) + animus (mind) + -ous. A translation of a Greek word meaning faint hearted.
1. The Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz had to conquer his pusillanimity.
2. Gideon is a good example of pusillanimity being overcome in the strength of the Lord.
3. In Deuteronomy 20 there is a provision for pusillanimous soldiers to avoid battle and instead go home.
I find it very interesting that Joshua, the military leader in Israel, was commanded over and over again to "be strong and of good courage." When the spies brought back their discouraging report, Joshua and Caleb were confident that God would give Israel the land of Canaan, because He had promised. Joshua had victoriously fought Amelek. Maybe it wasn't facing the battles that was causing Joshua pusillanimity. Maybe it was replacing Moses, and having responsibility for leading millions of people. Regardless of the task before him (or us), the answer remains the same, "be strong and very courageous, for the Lord thy God is with you wherever you go."
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.