One of my reasons for starting this blog a couple years ago was to consider all of the Bible verses that use phrases like “fear not,” “be not afraid,” “be strong and courageous,” etc. I have veered from this topic multiple times, but for some reason, the topic of fear keeps circling around, like an onion that I peel back layer by layer. There is so much to learn, so many angles and depths to explore, so many varieties of fear to shed.

This morning when I scrolled through recent emails, the “word of the day” caught my attention – pusillanimous! What a horrid word, I thought, wondering if it had something to do with the seeping or oozing matter from an infection. I enjoy learning new words, but this one sounded repulsive. I immediately decided it would probably not be printed and saved in my growing file of “words to write about.”  The pronunciation begins with pyoo, similar to putrid, I suppose. Not any better.

Then I read the definition of this adjective and realized that this word could be used to describe ME! I held my breath.

1. lacking courage or resolution; cowardly; faint-hearted; timid.  2. proceeding from or indicating a cowardly spirit.

Origin: Pusillanimous is derived from the Latin words pusillis meaning “small’ and animus meaning “spirit.”

Literally – a small spirit.

I do not want to be this person, one who lacks courage or resolve, one who is faint of heart or cowardly. I do not want a small spirit to define who I am. It seemed like my aversion to the word itself transferred to the definition and then to the part of me that it described. Being timid is one thing, but being pusillanimous?  I  don’t  think  so!!!

How ironic that an obscure word would point me back to THE Word. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity [a small spirit], but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Tim. 1:7.

May powerful, loving, and self-disciplined be the words that define you and me today.


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