Words Of Encouragement By Sheri Boulet / last year Share Tweet Pin Share I have this nifty little program on my phone called “Wiseman.” Everyday I can look at it and find a different quote waiting to inspire me. Today I was inspired by Winston Churchill, as I have found myself being inspired in the past. He said “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” When I was a very young girl, up until I was in college, I was painfully shy and terrified of anything that even remotely hinted at being in front of a crowd. I was once given the superlative the quietest girl in my class, and although my speaking voice still remains soft, give me a mic, I’ll speak, no matter the size of the crowd. While in college in desperate need of a job, I found one as a disc jockey. It was during that time I realized that people were listening whether I could see their faces or not, so what did it matter. That *cured* me. But having the courage to stand in front of a crowd and speak about things I am comfortable with, and having the courage to stand up to someone and speak something to them that I would rather not say are two totally different things. And more times than not I have to totally rely on God to be able to do that. On my own I get either physically ill, or I mess every thing up completely. Recently I was having a conversation with a member of my family. I was asking about someone that I had met for the first time, to find out more about what the person was like and the response I received was very well stated and very honest. I was told that the person was indeed very wonderful, *but* it didn’t take long to realize that while they were talking with you, their mind was moving in a million different directions, never really hearing anything you had said. So many times in my life I have nodded and answered what I hoped was appropriately, but I never really heard what was being said. On some occasions I have even found myself sitting in the House of God, needing His Word, only to be thinking about something else entirely. Or I have listened to my Pastor and thought “Boy, I wish *fill in the blank* could hear this, when, if I had been honest, it was I who needed to hear. Courage…. Courage to stand up and speak, to stand up in the face of adversity, of the adversary, of our peers, of our family, and speak, without compromise, without backing down or giving in. Courage to listen, even when it means we may have to change, we may be wrong, we may be an obstacle to growth, or a stumbling block for our own growth may need to be removed. Do you know what courage always brings?? CHANGE Always. Winston Churchill also said, “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” How true, how true. Lord, I have prayed so many times that You would be my strength. How I still need that. Give me the courage today to admit that I need You in every area of my life. If there is something in me, Lord, help me to listen to You so that I can become fit for Your use. And never let me lack the courage to live my convictions and to stand up to the world around me. You are so precious to me. I love you so, so much.