And the officers shall speak further to the people, and say, 'Is there any man who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go back to his house, lest he make the heart of his fellows melt like his own.' (Deut 20:8)
These are part of the instructions for warfare God gave Israel upon engaging their enemies in battle. Though I don't plan on handing out 22's to the small group I lead and marching down to the Wheaton Mormon temple, this text is every bit as meaningful today. I want to surround myself with men of courage, not men of timidity. I think of courageous brothers like Joab Rico, Brian Martin, Greg Beale, Zack Eswine, Acts 29 pastors. Time spent in the trenches with the courageous stirs up courage. Time spent with the fainthearted reinforces faintheartedness.
And the greatest key to courage is time spent with the Courageous One himself, who emptied himself, endured the cross, and scorned the shame. Remember Peter and John before the religious PhDs of the day.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)