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THE  LIGHT  TO THE WORLD

A non-denominational Christian  journal 

  
 
 

Faintheartedness

 

By Natalie Redko

 

I'd like to share some of my thoughts with you now. 

While reading the Book of Exodus in the Bible I paid attention to the fact that the people of God in Israel wouldn't listen to Moses and Aaron because of... faintheartedness. 

At this point I made a pause and decided to examine the meaning of this word more closely. Several years ago I was eager to try to understand what this notion means, but I postponed it for a time. Most likely, the time for it has come now!

For the last 20 years this word has practically disappeared from our vocabulary. But it's a great pity. We can see that it's mentioned in the Holy Scriptures for many times. For example, the St.Thomas Aquinas related the example with faintheartednedd to the proverb about the lazy servant, who dug his talents into the earth. In his opinion, the negative consequences of fainthgeartedness include the inability to perform the required actions. 

Oh my! But earlier I thought that faintheartedness simply means shyness or humbleness. 

By and by the puzzles in my head started to come to their places. All our vices, no matter how insignificant, do affect not only us, but also the people who are around us. Most people prefer to quietly deal with their weaknesses somewhere alone in the corner, being sure that it touches only them. But if we look at it globally, we shall see that even the tiniest steady negative traits of our character paralyze us and stand in our way of fulfilling the mission the Creator has entrusted us. 

 

I went on analyzing the subject. And I saw the deeper seriousness of it. There are texts in the Bible which we try to read quickly, and don't put them on ourselves, or we simply have a vague idea about them. For example, here is one of such verses: 

"But the cowardly, the unbelieving... – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur". Probably you didn't know, but the word "cowardly" in the original sounds like "fainthearted". What a twist! But who are these people with faint hearts? With rabbit souls? Isn't it me, Lord? 

Faintheartedness is the absence of the steadfast mind. The Bible says: "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast" (Isaiah 26:3). Let's go on. The generally accepted definition of faintheartedness is the following: "this is a trait of character which doesn't let one to behave courageously because of cowardness, and this is a weakness of one's soul. A fainthearted person is not able to follow the generally accepted norms of morality or even his own principles." 

Another unpleasant moment in this question is that a habit to behave timidly strikes a deep root into a person's character and lasts all his life long. Of course it happens in case he has no intentions to deal with this problem. And here a question arises: "Probably, a person was born like this, since he has no power to overcome this weakness?" However, this is a trait of one's character. But the character is something which is being molded ALL our life long. 

If we could finish at this point, I would have done it right away, but the more we examine the subject the more interesting it turns out to be. The "faintheartedness" is also defined as the weakness of character, which is often expressed in fears, fobies, insignificant envy and spontaneous aggression. This information literally raised the following words in my mind: "Christ was crucified because of envy." O my God! So this is where it is rooted!

 

 

 

Faintheartedness doesn't just appear on the empty place. Of course, all the roots go to our childhood. Each personality has his or her strong points, or weak points. And if parents solved all the problems of their timid and sensitive child, and he had no chance to form the habit to take decisions, or if his uncertainty in teenage years hadn't been worked at, then he would turn out to be a fainthearted personality in his adult life.

Excessive protection and pseudo-love can form an ugly personality. Childish complexes are growing and gradually turn into fobias. And danger always looks bigger through the eyes of fear. In the beginning it starts like timidness, then grows into malice at the unfair world, into envy directed at somebody who is stronger or more successful, and in the end it may turn into something absolutely unpredictable. In the modern society where the money is ruling over the truth, everything works for the development of faintheartedness in those people who are prone to it.  

A fainthearted person has a tendency to blame others for his own faults, and to put his or her responsibility on the others, thus worshipping his or her own "ego". It's difficult for such people to take serious decisions, and because of their actions, or most often, because of the absence of any actions, they can bring serious harm to the surrounding people. But it is not the end. In the most critical and questionable situations, a fainthearted person would not care about principles or any morality, – he would just take the side of the majority. He is always in the role of a chameleon. He can seems to be indifferent, while at the same time he is able to betray another person. 

If all people say there is no God and the believers must be killed, such a person would be overcome by fear for his own soul and would tend to betray Christ without any hesitations. 

 

Is it not me, Lord?

We all like to find the negative features in the Biblical heroes, we like to remember the traitor Peter, but did we put ourselves on these scales? When nobody threatens us and we freely attend our Church gatherings, it's easy not to think about personal faintheartedness. I remember how it was in my life that I received real threats for my faith two times. I had a broad spectrum of feelings and emotions at the moment, but in the end I decided that God rules over everything after all. And if I have to die for Him, let it be so.

I condemn faintheartedness, because the fainthearted live not THEIR life. They just put their lives on the altar of fear.

This word may become a verdict for God's dream for your life. Let the Holy Spirit enlighten the the eyes of our inner heart, and let's discern the root of faintheartedness in our own hearts first of all! 

Our God is merciful, and as a good Trainer He will help us overcome this distance.