To whatever degree I have a responsibility to serve others by way of example and encouragement, to whatever degree I must make decisions that affect others, I must base my conduct on four cornerstones.
Conviction: It all begins here. What is true? What is right? What is non-negotiable? What is “worth it”? Conviction is the fundamental “what is” and “why it must be.” Without conviction I will waver. Without conviction I may pander. Conviction cannot come via consensus (although it should be informed and measured by advice). Conviction is what I believe, so help me God. Conviction must prompt action – or prohibit it – or it is just an idea.
Courage: This is my will, my resolve to act upon my convictions. Whether applauded or attacked, whether alone or among others, I will act according to conviction. Has He not commanded? “Be strong and very courageous.”
Compassion: My conviction and courage must never lead to crassness or callous. Doing what I believe is right will not justify treating someone else wrong. Boldness does not require harshness. Speaking up never requires talking down. Being strong isn’t being a bully. I must care enough about others to respect their courage to disagree with my convictions.
Cool-head: Temperature is “average kinetic energy.” The higher the temperature, the faster the molecules are moving. Hot heads have hyper molecules. Cool heads have self-control. Proverbs says that a fool gives full vent to his anger. James says that everyone one must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. Without a cool-head I am just a fool with an overheated opinion.
These principles, in concert, must guide and govern my conduct.