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Day 1333 – Overcoming Being a Coward – Ask Gramps
28th February 2020 • Wisdom-Trek © • H. Guthrie Chamberlain, III
00:00:00 00:09:45

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Wisdom-Trek / Creating a Legacy

Welcome to Day 1333 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.

This is Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom

Overcoming Being A Coward – Ask Gramps

Wisdom - the final frontier to true knowledge. Welcome to Wisdom-Trek! Where our mission is to create a legacy of wisdom, to seek out discernment and insights, to boldly grow where few have chosen to grow before. Hello, my friend, I am Guthrie Chamberlain, your captain on our journey to increase Wisdom and Create a Living Legacy. Thank you for joining us today as we explore wisdom on our 2nd millennium of podcasts. This is Day 1333 of our Trek and time for our Philosophy Friday series. Each Friday, we will ponder some of the basic truths and mysteries of life, and how they can impact us in creating our living legacy. As we continue on this trek called life, sometimes we have questions about life, so our Friday trek is a time where we can ‘Ask Gramps.’  Gramps will answer questions that you would like to ask your dad or granddad, but for whatever reason, this is not possible. No matter how old we are, I know that all of us would like the opportunity to ask dad or gramps questions about life in many areas.

We may mix it up a bit on our Friday episodes, but will strive to keep them down to earth and enjoyable.  If you have any questions that you would like to ask Gramps, please email them to

So the question for this week is:

“Hey Gramps, there are times when I feel like a coward. I don’t stand up for what I feel is important even when it comes to defending my faith. Do you have tips that can help me gain courage? 

Overcoming Being a Coward

For most people, they struggle with fear, self-doubt, and a lack of faith that God has everything under control. Even Joshua, who was Moses's understudy for nearly 40 years, needed God’s encouragement before taking over as the leader of the nation of Israel. Joshua 1:6-9 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Let me tell you about another story. John Callender was a young officer under George Washington in the Revolutionary War. He failed miserably during the Battle of Bunker Hill and was dismissed from the army for behaving as a coward. On his papers, Gen. Washington wrote this: "Cowardice a crime, of all others the most injurious, and the last to be forgiven."

To his credit, Callender allowed his shame and embarrassment to move him to try to make up for what he had done and to redeem his good name. He didn't join the Redcoats. He didn't commit suicide. Instead, he re-enlisted as a private and behaved with such obvious courage at the Battle of Long Island that Washington revoked his earlier sentence and reinstated him as a captain.

The story of John Callender has a lesson in it for all of us. Nobody goes through life without episodes of weakness, failure, and humiliation. Those with the courage to begin again are people to be respected.It isn't easy, to be honest with oneself about failure and sin. The tendency is to be defensive and proud. Scripture holds that such a spirit hinders forgiveness in James 4:6-10: And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,

“God opposes the proud

but gives grace to the humble.”

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

 In other words, “It isn't easy, to be honest with oneself about failure and sin.”

In spite of the difficulty in starting again from scratch, there is even a way to learn from past failures and to achieve successes that might have been impossible otherwise. This time you know the things to avoid, the dangerous temptations that can turn you back from your goal, and the frailties within your own personality. Having failed and knowing what contributed to your failure, you can take steps that make success far more likely in the new effort.Few have ever failed Jesus more miserably than Peter. He was a chosen apostle, a special friend to the Lord, and a leader among his peers. He promised the Lord that he would be faithful even if all the others turned away. Yet, Peter fled when Jesus was arrested and denied him three times in the high priest's courtyard. When Jesus later gave Peter the chance to begin again, he took it and made the best of it. This story of redemption and restoration can be found in, John 21:15-23. Let me share that story with you.

After breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”

“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.

Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”

“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.

A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.

 “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”

Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”

Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.” So the rumor spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said at all. He only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”


Look at your situation. Are you any worse off than Peter? If you are grieving, your failure, sin, and confusion, have the courage to throw yourself on God's mercy and to ask his help to begin again.

That is a wrap for today’s question. Join us again next Friday for another question on our ‘Ask Gramps’ episode. Our next trek is Mediation Monday, where we will help you reflect on what is most important in life. So encourage your friends and family to join us and then come along on Monday for another day of ‘Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.'If you would like to listen to any of the past 1332 daily treks or read the associated journals, they are all available at I encourage you to subscribe to Wisdom-Trek on your favorite podcast player, so each day will be downloaded to you automatically.

Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and, most of all, your friend as I serve you in through this Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal.

As we take this Trek of life together, let us always:

  1. Live Abundantly (Fully)
  2. Love Unconditionally
  3. Listen Intentionally
  4. Learn Continuously
  5. Lend to others Generously
  6. Lead with Integrity
  7. Leave a Living Legacy Each Day

I am Guthrie Chamberlain….reminding you to ’Keep Moving Forward,’ ‘Enjoy your Journey,' and ‘Create a Great Day…Everyday’! See you on Monday!