Originally published September 12, 2017
1. showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks.
2. showing an impudent lack of respect.
Audacious. It’s a hot new buzzword that false teachers like Steven Furtick and Beth Moore like to throw around, and “average Jane” Christians are starting to pick up.
“Pray audacious prayers!”
“Live an audacious life!”
Sounds great, right? Rah! Rah! Let’s get out there and be audacious for Jesus!
The only problem with that is… well…the Bible. The Bible doesn’t tell us to live or pray audaciously in either sense of the word. In fact, I checked seven or eight of the most reliable English translations, and the word “audacious” isn’t even in the Bible. (Even The Message doesn’t have it!)
The Bible says nothing about being willing to “take surprisingly bold risks.” Quite the opposite, in fact.
But we urge you, brothers, to [love one another] more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
1 Thessalonians 4:10b-12
Love one another, live quietly, mind your business, go to work, walk in a godly way before a watching world, and be self-supporting. How bold, risky, or audacious does that sound?
Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
Self-control, dignity, reverence, submission, good works. Nope, nothing about risk-taking there either.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Hmmm….still nothing about being audacious….
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Honoring God, asking Him to help us obey, to provide basic food, to forgive us. This is how Jesus Himself taught us to pray, and there’s not a hint of risk or audaciousness to be found.
The Bible doesn’t teach us to be audacious. That’s false doctrine dreamed up in the minds of false teachers. The Bible teaches us to live in humility, patience, kindness, love, and obedience to God’s word.