“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” -C. S. Lewis
Esther, a Jew, was chosen above every other woman in Persia to be queen of King Ahasuerus. The king’s official, Haman plotted to destroy the Jews, telling the king, “The Jews are disobedient to your law.” The king empowered Haman to do as he pleased to the Jews, not knowing his wife was Jewish. Under Persian law, nobody was allowed to disrupt the king’s court unless they were called upon. In doing so, one risked death. The only exception was the unlikely chance the king held out his scepter to spare the intruder’s life. Mordecai reminded Esther, “You must speak up” because “You are in the very position you’re in for such a time as this.” Esther said responded, “If I perish, I perish.” What Esther was saying was that she’d rather die for speaking up for her values than live and remain silent. Likewise, maybe we like to think of ourselves as good people, with strong values, who do what’s right. Most of the time, this is likely true. But if we fail to act when we see injustice—if we keep silent when we hear racist comments—if we live apathetic to the oppressed—how righteous are we really? We mustn't put our values aside simply because it makes our lives easier.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut. 31:6, NIV).