Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

The Western World Has a Crisis of Courage

An article in The Financial Times claims that “the west is suffering from a crisis of courage.” The author notes:

And the problem is much broader than politics. Society itself seems to be suffering from a crisis of courage … Virtue signaling might be endemic, but courage, like honor, is not deemed a virtue worth signaling. Indeed, all the incentives are stacked on the opposite side: there is little to lose from going along with what everyone is saying, even if you don’t believe it yourself, and much to gain from proving that you are on the “right” side. Courage — sticking your head above the parapet and saying what you really think — can, conversely, get you into a huge amount of trouble, and, usually, you are not rewarded for it.

The mere mention of courage has been in decline for a long time. A 2012 paper in the Journal of Positive Psychology that tracked how frequently words related to moral excellence appeared in American books — both fiction and non-fiction — over the 20th century, found that the use of the words “courage, bravery and fortitude” (which were grouped together) had fallen by two-thirds over the period.

Moral courage does not equate to recklessness, and neither does it mean being a provocateur for the sake of it … But if we want our societies to thrive, we must be courageous enough to think for ourselves and stand up for what we believe in. The late writer Maya Angelou was right when she said: “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

Related Sermon Illustrations

At Gun Point, New York Child Refuses to Part with Chicken Nugget

A 12-year-old girl in New York City is being hailed for her bravery in a recent argument with a male classmate that almost turned violent. The dispute? The boy asked for one of her ...

[Read More]

Ancient Mapmakers Marked 'Here Be Dragons'

Medieval cartographers (mapmakers) sketched hic sunt dragones (translated "there be dragons") on the edges of their maps. Those three words were used by the medieval cartographer of ...

[Read More]