Do you remember what goes in the blank for this verse from Revelation? Probably not. The list includes murder, idolatry, and liars. The harshest consequences applied to the worst behaviors. What starts the list? What behavior comes first?
The answer might surprise you. The word that goes in the blank is “cowardly.”
We don’t typically consider cowardice as a trait that belongs in the company with the other things in this list. But if you look at what Revelation asks believers to do, it mostly requires great courage. Which is really consistent with all of Scripture. The heroes of the faith, the stories of Scripture, and the call of the Kingdom are all a demonstration of courage.
One casualty in elevating courage is our natural tendency to value niceness. It takes real courage to be kind. Genuine fortitude to turn the other cheek. But groveling before evil in niceness is not virtuous. Staying silent, remaining uninvolved when we have the power to confront wrong, may feel nice. But it is not in our long term interest.
It takes real courage to adopt a perspective that is true. To be genuine. To love truly. Which is why God so highly esteems courage. When we adopt this perspective, we establish the foundation to unleash our inner faith superhero, and do amazing things in the Kingdom of God.