Bravery, as a noun, is defined as "courage; heroism; undaunted spirit; intrepidity; gallantry; fearlessness of danger; often united with generosity or dignity of mind which despises meanness and cruelty, and disdains to take advantage of a vanquished enemy." Brave, as a transitive verb, is defined as "To defy; to challenge; to encounter with courage and fortitude, or without being moved; to set at defiance."

"Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow: and he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear." – 2 Samuel 23:20-21.

Bravery is frequently associated with an innate quality, courage, which implies an act of consciously rising to a specific test by drawing on a reserve of inner strength. Bravery (Courage), Consecration and Action form the fifth lesser trinity of Via Christa Degrees, the keynote of which is Sacrifice. Bravery is related to the Mystic Degree, in which the candidate dares to do and to be silent about it. Bravery is that inborn quality of soul that causes you to take a deep breath, gird your loins, and act as if this is the frosting on your cake.

Edna Lister on Bravery

Wisdom and strength rightfully belong to the brave heart. – Edna Lister, The Lord's Prayer, September 26, 1934.

No one is brave or courageous on an empty stomach. – Edna Lister, True Courage, January 16, 1935.

"Benaiah, the son of a valiant man, slew a lion in a pit on a snowy day." – 1 Chronicles 11:22. Courage is bravery. You can be brave, yet have a torturing fear. – Edna Lister, Daring to Do, February 7, 1937.

The conquering soul stands strong to endure and brave to carry his own burden to the altar in sacrifice. – Edna Lister, February 3, 1939.

You cannot buy courage in the dime store, or for millions. No invisible mantle will supply it — you either have it or do not. The courage to stand on principle comes from an inner conviction that what you are doing is right, and bravery is its inevitable outer expression. No false gods on the outside or loudly voiced opinions can manufacture courage, for all such substitutes fail when you call on them under fire.

Achieving the right goal with courage that never gives way or backs down, showing a brave front to all enemies, does not come from choosing between two evils, even the "lesser" one. It comes from choosing the one right course of action. This is always the way of sacrifice, whether for an individual or a nation. Your choice runs straight down the middle of the right road, from evil and darkness into the Light. Winning comes only from using sacrifice and success as synonymous terms, backed by deathless courage. Your choice of "death" rather than to lose your ideals, and facing that "death" gladly, will open the gates of life to others forever. – Edna Lister, Life in a Nutshell, "Courage in Action," 1942.

You must be brave enough to follow love all the way. – Edna Lister, January 26, 1948.

To be undaunted, brave and of utmost courage shall open all doors. – Edna Lister, January 3, 1958.

Bravery is courage and daring. When you act in spite of fear, bravery is a splendor. Light emanates from your heart and you are able to act in the face of harm or evil. Bravery is to stand, to dare, and to do. – Edna Lister, The 33 Degrees of Soul Conquering, October 27, 1959.

The Light of God moves through all you do while you carry your cross and walk bravely. You may fall by the weight of it, but you pick yourself up and keep going. – Edna Lister, Fourteen Stations of the Cross, April 17, 1962.

You may whine or decide to carry your cross bravely. You will fall under its weight until you learn to assume the burden of new initiations bravely, while adjusting to life. – Edna Lister, Fourteen Stations of the Cross, April 24, 1962.

Strength and bravery only come from knowing that what you want to do is right to do. – Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971.

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Treatment for Bravery

Fear pays no dividends. To convince the subconscious mind that there is nothing to fear, repeat, "God is all courage and strength." – Edna Lister, The Light, Your Expression, November 4, 1956.

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Old Testament on Bravery

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. – Deuteronomy 31:6.

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. – Joshua 1:9.

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. – Isaiah 54:17.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 – 1971
The original Christian Pioneering Mystic,
Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of bravery: Old Italian or Old Spanish bravo, wild, brave, excellent, probably from Vulgar Latin brabus, from Latin barbarus, barbarous.

Bravery is a soul virtue.

Bravery is a Via Christa Degree.


Moral excellence is concerned with pleasures and pains; it is on account of the pleasure that we do bad things, and on account of the pain that we abstain from noble ones. Hence we ought to have been brought up in a particular way from our very youth, as Plato says, so as both to delight in and to be pained by the things that we ought; for this is the right education. – Aristotle, Nicomachaen Ethics, Book II, Part III

Familiarity with danger makes a brave man braver, but less daring. – Herman Melville, White-Jacket


Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics, Book II, Part III. W.D. Ross, translator. New York: Random House, 1941.

Melville, Herman. White-Jacket; or, The World in a Man-of-War, Chapter 23. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 95, 1892.

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Webster, Noah. "Bravery," "Brave." Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828. This work is in the public domain.

Related Topic

See Courage