What causes cowardice? - Cowardice - TouchPoints

What causes cowardice?

Numbers 13:28-33But the people living there are powerful, and their cities and towns are fortified and very large. We also saw the descendants of Anak who are living there! . . . “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” So they spread discouraging reports about the land among the Israelites . . . “We felt like grasshoppers next to them, and that’s what we looked like to them!”

Cowardice can be caused by unbelief. God had promised his people that they would possess the land. However, when the spies reported seeing frightening enemies, the people refused to believe that God was powerful enough to help them conquer. When you let fear lead to cowardice, you stop believing that God can do anything.

Genesis 42:21-22, 27-28Speaking among themselves, they said, “Clearly we are being punished because of what we did to Joseph long ago. We saw his anguish when he pleaded for his life, but we wouldn’t listen. That’s why we’re in this trouble.” “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy?” Reuben asked. “But you wouldn’t listen. And now we have to answer for his blood!” . . . But when they stopped for the night and one of them opened his sack to get grain for his donkey, he found his money in the top of his sack. “Look!” he exclaimed to his brothers. “My money has been returned; it’s here in my sack!” Then their hearts sank. Trembling, they said to each other, “What has God done to us?”

Cowardice can be caused by a guilty conscience. You sense that you have failed God and so believe you can do nothing. When this happens, you forget that you can be forgiven by God and that he still has tasks for you to do.

Exodus 6:30This is the same Moses who had argued with the Lord, saying, “I can’t do it! I’m no orator. Why should Pharaoh listen to me?”

Cowardice can be caused by your inabilities and low self-esteem. Moses was afraid to follow God’s call and made excuses. No matter how capable you feel, when God calls he also equips. Don’t let your own estimation of your abilities affect your willingness to serve God.

Psalm 40:12For troubles surround me— too many to count! They pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They are more numerous than the hairs on my head. I have lost all my courage.

Cowardice can be caused by fear of your circumstances. The situation may indeed be frightening. These are the times when you must call out to God for the courage you need to face your circumstances.

Proverbs 29:25Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but to trust the Lord means safety.

Galatians 2:12Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore because he was afraid of what these legalists would say.

Exodus 32:22-24“Don’t get upset, sir,” Aaron replied. “You yourself know these people and what a wicked bunch they are. They said to me, ‘Make us some gods to lead us, for something has happened to this man Moses, who led us out of Egypt.’”

Matthew 14:5Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of a riot, because all the people believed John was a prophet.

Matthew 21:45-46When the leading priests and Pharisees heard this parable, they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. They wanted to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowds, who considered Jesus to be a prophet.

John 9:22They said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue.

Cowardice can be caused by fear of others. If you know what is right and what you should do but then let others’ opinions cause you to not do those things, you are getting caught in a “dangerous trap.” Instead, honor God by doing what is right regardless of what anyone thinks.

Genesis 12:11-13As he was approaching the borders of Egypt, Abram said to Sarai, “You are a very beautiful woman. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife. Let’s kill him; then we can have her!’ But if you say you are my sister, then the Egyptians will treat me well because of their interest in you, and they will spare my life.”

Cowardice can be caused by fear of death. Of course, no one wants to die. At times, God has called his sons and daughters to make the ultimate sacrifice. The promise is that the moment of death is the moment of entry into eternal life.