One incident comes to mind. We were at a soccer game. The teams were girls under 16 and both sides had several fans sitting in bleachers on opposite sides of the field, an informal rule in our city to keep the fans from being mouthy toward each other.
After the game started, a man showed up with his lawn chair and plunked himself down on our side of the field close to where three little girls were playing with their dolls. He was rooting for the other team, which was fine, but his choice of words soon became foul and blasphemous. The parents and other fans in our seating area became quite upset, and were saying things like, “Someone should do something.”
Without any hesitation, I said that I would do it. I got up, walked over to the man, and had a little chat with him. I was calm and polite. He was barely civil, challenging me to repeat the words I accused him of saying, and basically growling at me.
I was in the right and I knew God wanted me to do this. I calmly told him that he either needed to clean up his mouth, or move to the other side of the field where he belonged. I returned to my seat.
The man didn’t move. Perhaps he’d already found out that his team supporters didn’t like his language either, but he also never said another word and left the game before it ended. Whenever I read verses from the Bible that mention boldness, I think about that incident.
For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. . . . (Philippians 1:19–21)That day I realized that this was the Holy Spirit showing me what His boldness is like. I am normally a big coward when it comes to anything like that, but getting up from my seat and challenging that man was easy. I was not afraid nor did I start to shake after I sat down. That is a God-thing, not like me at all.
In the past, God has used similar methods to teach me what it is like to rely on Him. I get one big demonstration that just happens. No prayer involved, no wondering what will happen, no premeditation. It just happens. From these unexpected events, I have learned that when I need something from God, like His peace, or His joy in trials, it will be there. I’ve also learned that if I need boldness, He will give it to me.
To live is Christ means that I can count on Him to give me courage when obedience calls for courage, boldness when obedience calls for boldness, and no matter what, if my heart is right and my attitudes are the same as His, then I never have to worry about being embarrassed or ashamed.