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Two by Two

So in struggling with being bold concerning my faith (this is a bit of a continuation of my last post), I think a key to success is partnership. Something in our psyche makes us much bolder when we have a friend backing us. I think this is why Jesus sent out his disciples on their first missionary trip two-by-two.
Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.
These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”
They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. (Mark 6:7-13)
I've experienced this myself a few times in life. In sixth grade I remember we were doing a read-aloud as a class, splitting up portions in a rotation around the room. I looked ahead and there was a swear word in my section. At the time, I was pretty against cursing, so I got really nervous, going back and forth, knowing I would be ostracized for not saying a simple swear word -- something I heard about a hundred times a day from my peers, being in sixth grade. Ultimately, I chose against it because there was another kid in my class, Karvelis, who I knew was a strong believer. I didn't know where he stood on the issue, but I imagined that my making a difficult choice based on a faith we both shared would garner his support, and so I did. As I walked away from the class, my friends made fun of me. I didn't talk to Karvelis so I don't know how he felt, but I was still proud of my choice, and the memory has stuck with me.

We followed the crowds to the beach this day.

Another time this took effect was going surfing with my friend Zach. The El Porto parking lot is long, skinny and only one-way. It was a busy weekend afternoon, and the lot was pretty full. When this happens, a lot of people like to wait by a car that is packing up to get their spot -- totally understandable. This one guy was doing that, though, and the parking lot line was just massive behind him. He either needed to pull over so someone could pass, or just not wait. Zach and I were both thinking the same thing -- we needed to tell this guy to go  because he was stopping up traffic in a major way -- but I know I wouldn't have had the boldness to do so by myself. Something about having a friend there empowered me to speak up.

"What am I supposed to do?!" the guy yelled back after we said something. We told him that he was blocking traffic and it was pretty inconsiderate. I don't remember if he moved or not, but I do remember noting that I did something that day I wouldn't have done by myself.

Teams are powerful, and God knows that. So maybe the next step in being bold is simply to surround ourselves with others who feel the same way. Together we can be the instruments for change and truth that we so deeply desire.

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