Have you ever heard a person refer to someone as
not having a backbone? Chances are they did not
mean so literally but figuratively (for it is typical that
humans have a spine). One who is deemed a coward
is often referred to as “spineless.” Thus, for one to
“have backbone” simply means that one has the
courage to face a very difficult or unnerving situation.
This is very important, for cowardice is sickening to
God (cf. Num. 13–14).
To be sure, we are not merely referring to a victim of
a kidnapping or hijacking, etc., but (more to the point)
the victim of persecution or oppression for the cause
of Christ (of truth and righteousness). While a
Christian may not face persecution every day or to
the degree that other Christians elsewhere may
experience, the simple fact remains that “all who
desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer
persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). At such times the
Christian must be courageous for the Lord has made
it clear that the cowardly will not go to heaven (Rev.
I realize that this may seem to be easier said than
done, but in Christ Jesus it can be done (Phil. 4:13).
One’s life may be threatened because he is a
Christian. One may be harassed because he stands
for the truth against popular sin (such as we see in
the “political correctness” and open endorsement of
sexual perversion in our society today). In the face of
persecution or ridicule one may be tempted to deny
his faith or even to deny Christ to save his own skin,
yet Jesus said, “whoever denies Me before men, him
I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven”
Friends, when it comes to godly living and standing
for the truth, do you have backbone? The Lord said,
‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may
boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?’” (Heb. 13:5-6).