A Biblical Approach
by Rachael Carman
“Boldness stands when others bow, it speaks when others choose silence, it acts when others allow circumstances to paralyze them.”
Family laughing

know it when we see it. We applaud it when we witness it. We need more of it, but alas, it is in short supply and getting shorter. What is it? Boldness.

In books and on screen, we admire it. We see it when Samwise Gamgee confronts the Shelob in The Lord of the Rings or when POW Louis Zamperini defies his Japanese captors or when Corrie Ten Boom and her sister Betsy hide Jews in their home or when Sophie Scholl and her friends, all members of the White Rose, print and distribute pamphlets regarding the truth about the Nazi party. And we applaud. Their choices to protect, to rise, to act, to protest—they inspire us. In big and small ways, with quiet whispers or loud cries, in major cities or quiet villages, against a common bully or a cruel government, in seclusion or on a platform, boldness stands up and speaks out.

But where does boldness come from? What source grants the strength, the hutzpah, the audacity to stand up and speak out, to act? Not all people who stand against evil believe in God. Some take bold stands against wrong based on their own beliefs aside from God. For the Christian, boldness comes from an understanding of who God is, an inner conviction and confidence that honoring Him is most important. Godly boldness is also based on knowing who we really are in Christ. This kind of boldness is fueled by love, devotion, and joy. Christians who practice bold living are acting out of their love for God. They desire to honor Him in word and deed. They are determined to live worthy. And their lives are characterized by joy through worship, selflessness, sacrifice, and humility. When a Christian acts boldly, there’s no hint of arrogance or vanity or resentment. Boldness loves God first, and then God’s people. God’s honor is the highest priority and its maintenance the highest concern—the protection of God’s people its highest objective.

The priority of boldness isn’t safety, self-preservation, or even reputation. Boldness is focused on God’s glory, the protection of God’s people, the good, true, and beautiful. Boldness stands when others bow, it speaks when others choose silence, it acts when others allow circumstances to paralyze them. Boldness perseveres, protects, persists. Boldness does what ought to be done in light of who God is, what He’s done, and what He requires. Micah 6:8 is clear that God requires justice, kindness, and humility. It does what love and devotion demands. It doesn’t cower. It doesn’t ignore. It doesn’t neglect. It doesn’t attempt to justify passivity or inaction. Boldness is the outplay of love and devotion to God. Boldness changes the world.

Now let’s review some examples of good and proper boldness in Scripture. In the Old Testament Noah boldly built an ark. Abraham boldly believed. Moses boldly went to Pharaoh and demanded, “Thus says the Lord, Let My people go!” Joshua and Caleb boldly stood against the ten other spies and declared confidence in God. Ruth boldly returned with Naomi. Gideon boldly tore down the high places. Hannah boldly kept her promise and gave her son Samuel to God’s service. David boldly faced Goliath. The prophets boldly proclaimed both judgement and hope. Hezekiah boldly called upon the Lord (2 Kings 19:14-19). Josiah boldly made a covenant with God (2 Kings 23:1-3). Esther boldly called out Haman. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego boldly refused bowing to Nebuchadnezzar’s idol. Daniel boldly prayed defying the king’s edict against prayer. Nehemiah boldly requested favor from the king.

Top down view of desk with plants, notebook, and bible
In the New Testament the examples continue. Mary boldly submitted to the angel’s message. Joseph boldly stood by Mary’s story. John the Baptist boldly lived in the wilderness “preparing the way of the Lord.” The twelve disciples boldly followed when Jesus said, “Follow Me.” Peter boldly confessed, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, dared to sit at Jesus’ feet. Countless others boldly believed. After having denied Jesus, Peter boldly took his stand on the Day of Pentecost. Stephen boldly preached the truth of the Gospel. Ananias boldly obeyed God and went to Saul, the notorious enemy of the church. Paul boldly proclaimed the truth after having been the zealous persecutor. Many believers boldly stood up for Christ under threat of death. The authors of the New Testament boldly wrote accounts of Jesus’s ministry. And even more are listed in Hebrews 11. In fact, it’s boldness that gives evidence to faith. Those listed as faithful were necessarily bold; they believed God and acted on that belief. They were everyday people, like you and me. And they made bold decisions to stand up and speak out, to live boldly.

Of course, Jesus also lived boldly. He is our prime example of what it looks like to live boldly in light of God’s love, in obedience, in confidence.

Jesus came to show us how to live bold, worthy lives. But how? To assist you in your journey, I wrote a five-part Scripture study on gaining and maintaining boldness. You can download it here.

Rachael Carman Headshot

achael Carman, respected speaker and author, has traveled the world teaching God’s Word at conferences and retreats. Rachael and her husband, Davis, own Apologia Educational Ministries, an award-winning publisher of homeschool curriculum. Her books How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? and How to Have a HEART for Your Kids are winsome calls for moms to live each day at the foot of His throne. Connect with Rachael online at and the Let’s Talk Homeschool podcast.